I would appreciate if you could enlighten me on the following aspects:
1. What would be the liability of custodian (being employee of the company) appointed at the time of detention of goods by central excise office for realisation of excise duty dues. Is there any criminal exposure on reduction of stock considering the facts that the employee is not in control of stocks?
2. Is there any procedure in law to change the custodian of goods mentioned in point 1 above?
3. Does the responsibility continues even after leaving the job?
Thanks & regards,
Appointing someone as custodian and then that person not having control over the stock, appear to be contradiction in terms. I am not aware of the detailed facts of the case, but in my opinion, after being given the custody of the detained goods, it becomes the responsibility of the custodian to ensure that the goods remain intact and he may have to take control of the stocks, if necessary, to fulfil this responsibility. Otherwise, he should not have accepted the responsibility of being custodian.
Though you have not given details of the legal provisions under which such custodian has been appointed by the central excise officer, in general, if someone is appointed as custodian of detained goods and he accepts this responsibility, then any shortage in such detained goods may expose such person to action under the Central Excise Act, and may also perhaps expose him to the charge of offence of misappropriation of goods.
If such person does not want to continue as custodian, he may have to contact the concerned central excise officer for the change; especially if he wants to leave the company he should bring this fact to the notice of the central excise officer so that the latter can make alternative arrangements for appointing someone else as custodian of the goods detained.
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