The High Court of Bombay was hearing a write petition registered by an association of onion exporters. The HC held that it will be in the interest of justice if the export benefits are extended to the farmers or exporter of onions who hold valid shopping bills. These bills should have been issued before the notification dated September 14, 2020 and should be issued by the Directorate of Foreign Trade prohibiting the export of onion.
The Division Bench presiding over this matter comprised of Hon’ble Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Hon’ble Justice Abhay Ahuja. They heard the writ petition of Horticulture Produce Exporters Association and Rohan Shah, proprietor of Fair Agro Enterprises, and a member of the first petitioner organization. This writ petition challenged the said notifications on the ground that it would prevent the export of onions by the members of the association of the petition. The petition was filed by Advocate Anupam Dighe of India Law Alliance, Dr.Sujay Kantawala, and Senior Advocate Darius Shroff. He argued on the behalf of the petitioners by submitting that the petitioner’s goods haven’t been loaded. The validity of shipping bills would lapse on September 26, 2020.
The bench observed- "It appears that the consignments of the Petitioners were with the customs authority prior to issuance of the impugned notification. While we appreciate the decision taken by the Respondents to mitigate the hardship of those exporters where consignments were already loaded for export, we believe that it would be in the interest of justice if the same benefit is extended to the goods of the Petitioners because according to them their consignments were with the customs authority prior to issuance of the notification."
The court also stated that “We expect a decision to be taken expeditiously as admittedly the goods are perishable. Since the matter is before us, we make it clear that the shipping bills prior to issuance of the impugned notification shall not be construed to have lapsed till we decide the matter. Mr. Jetly learned Sr. Counsel shall obtain instructions from the Respondents and thereafter appraise the Court on the next date."