Bombay High Court Directs Customs to Handover Feeding Tubes to Cancer Fighters

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The Bombay High Court directed the Commissioner of Customs, Airport Special Cargo Commissionerate to handover feeding tubes imported from the United States of America to the Petitioner. The tubes are for cancer survivors who are unable to eat without these tubes. The reason for their inability is due to a surgery they undergo.

Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice NR Borkar heard the writ petition filed by Samir Patel. He is the person who sought the release of the parcel. The parcel was containing ‘Osmolite Nutrio N-Food’. These were for those who were tube feeding patients.

Facts of the Case 

In December 2016, the petitioner was diagnosed with oral cancer. The petitioner’s intake of nutrients is only possible with a feeding tube. These feeding tubes are required to be imported from the USA. The petitioner imported four boxes of such feeding tubes from the US. The tubes imported through the DHL Courier Agency. However, the Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Air Cargo Complex did not allow these tubes. He kept the said packets on the grounds unclear to the petitioner.

Arguments by the Parties 

Senior Advocate Venkatesh Dhond appeared on behalf of the petitioner. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh appeared on behalf of respondent authorities. The respondent authorities include the Commissioner of Customs, Airport Special Cargo Commissionerate.

Firstly, ASG Singh sought to join the aforesaid Commissioner. He was going to join as a respondent in the matter which was earlier allowed. Then, the Court directed DHL to file the Bill of Entry. The bill was to be filed with the Commissioner of Customs, Airport Special Cargo Commissionerate. The Bill of Entry was to file in the next hour. The Court asked ASG Singh to forward the email address of the Commissioner to the petitioner.

Court’s Decision

Court asked the petitioners to fill up Form No.7 (for Customs Duty Exemption certificate). Moreover, the Court asked to forward it to the Commissioner of Customs. The Court directed the Commissioner to process the documents received. The Court directed to ensure that tubes reach to the petitioner within 24 hours.

Next Hearing

The petitioner contends in the Court that the said feeding tubes are not available in India. They also add that there is also no alternative available. Furthermore, the petitioner has a stock of the feeding tubes, which will last only for a few days. The above matter will now be heard on June 22 at 11 AM.


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