• Call and show cause notice

I have ordered an online item to use purely for my personal use only for my address in India . The item has been held by customs upon arrival in India and issued a CALL cum SHOW cause notice for me mentioning that the imported product falls under OBSENE category which is prohibited as per law and liable for absolute confiscation. They gave me 10 days to show up for the cause at their Mumbai office
Please advice me what should i do
Asked 11 months ago in Civil Law

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13 Answers

Send detailed reply to show cause notice 


2) that you had imported sex toy for personal use and not aware that import is prohibited 


3) that you have no objections that sex toy  is confiscated 


4) that you do not want any personal hearing 

5) that lenient view be taken and penalty waived 

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
84070 Answers
5480 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Appear before the custom authority. Tender apology. If the fine you pay it. Fine amount shall not a big amount. Cooperate them. 

Not to be worried much. 

Kallol Majumdar
Advocate, Kolkata
2800 Answers
7 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Hi, Nothing will happen either you can reply to the show cause notice or else directly approach to them or through an advocate. They will ask you to pay the penalty and once you pay the penalty. The will confiscated the product which you have ordered.

Pradeep Bharathipura
Advocate, Bangalore
5135 Answers
282 Consultations

4.5 on 5.0

1. Do not show up or show any cause.


2. Write to them that you have not ordered for the said prohibited item.


3. Let the article be confiscated by the Customs.

Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
26030 Answers
726 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Import violates the conditions of section 3(i) of foreign trade (exemption from application of rules in certain cases) 
order, 1993, covered under foreign act, 1992

You need to reply to the show cause notice without delay as any delay can attract penal action.Importing sex toys 
eventually buying from online sites is illegal
and most of the parcels are caught at Postal Appraisal section by
customs . Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code has banned the sale of any obscene object in India. Since you have
been issued a show cause notice you should engage a lawyer and reply through him to the notice received by you.
Best answer to their notice is that you have no objection to goods being confiscated and are willing to pay penalty

Ajay N S
Advocate, Ernakulam
3931 Answers
83 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

You first issue a reply notice to the show cause notice denying the allegations.

You may state that you were unware of the prevailing law in this regard and may even apologise for your ignorance of law.

You may add that you are ready and willing to pay penalty for this act and also may authorize the authority to confiscate the items and request for waiver of your personal appearance before them for this purpose.


T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
74174 Answers
1203 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Send a reply stating your willingness to pay the property. 

Otherwise you would be prosecuted. 

Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
22515 Answers
363 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Do not remain silent and do reply the show cause notice. Engage an advocate who deals in such matters to draft the same . However I think you can not avoid the penalty.

Mohammed Mujeeb
Advocate, Hyderabad
19011 Answers
28 Consultations

4.5 on 5.0

If the item truly comes under OBSENE category than you have accept the facts and give in writing henceforth you will not perform such act and pay the penalty.


If you have defence statement against that show cause notice than tell same infront of custom officer.

Ganesh Kadam
Advocate, Pune
12193 Answers
151 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

If you want to contest you can contest the same on merits otherwise you can pay 5000 penalty and leave that product. As per the court order if it's a sex toy it's not obscene

Prashant Nayak
Advocate, Mumbai
24239 Answers
51 Consultations

4.4 on 5.0

No worries but ignorance of law is no excuse, so go to the office and say them to compound the matter they will seize the material with fine, say only you were not aware that article falls under the banned category.

Koshal Kumar Vatsa
Advocate, Gurgaon
2283 Answers
3 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

- Actually, there is no law stating that sex toys are not allowed in India.

- However, Section 292 of the IPC prevents the sale of any material or product that is ‘obscene’ in nature in India. But, no statement has been mentioned regarding the ‘Ban on Sex Toys in India

- Further, keeping sex toys at home for personal use, is not an offence unless the individual is private about its usage and functioning. Every individual has his/her private life and hence, they have the full right to do whatever they want to under those boundations.

- As per the website of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Customs displayed a list of items that are prohibited for import. Pornographic and Obscene materials are covered under Prohibited items of this list , and under section 111(d) of Customs Act, this item is liable for confiscation and is also liable for penalty u/s 112 of Customs Act, 1962.

- Further, the Kolkata High Court addressed the issue whether sex toys sold in India comes under the charges of “obscenity”. The Court held that the charges on obscenity cannot be held as they were not legally sustainable. Just because the toy brings out sexual desires, it cannot be labeled as ‘obscene’.

- Since, you got notice from Custom Department; hence you should give the reply of the show cause notice to the department and appear for personal hearing, and thereby declare before them that the said items are for personal use and not for sale to other persons. 

- But if the items you ordered is absolutely confiscated, then you will have to pay penalty. 

Mohammed Shahzad
Advocate, Delhi
7982 Answers
85 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

From examining all the facts of your query I want to say that-
These cases are very common in various Courts of India and Supreme Court of India. I can understand your concern in this regard. I & my junior Advocates have dealt with various such matters all over India. As per the Section 11 of Customs Act 1962, any goods or materials of specified description which would cause grave injury to the maintenance of public order and standards of decency or morality are prohibited for importation and exportation. Usually, when such mails or parcels come, they issue a show cause notice, ask for an explanation and then, issue a warning. They can only make an arrest when the value is ₹1 crore and above. Subsequently, they destroy the toys.
In Chandrakanta Kalyandas Kakodar v. State of Maharastra, the Supreme Court while considering whether a certain matter fell within the mischief of being obscene, observed that it was the duty of the court to consider the obscene matter by taking an overall view of the entire work and to determine whether the obscene passages were likely to deprave and corrupt those whose minds were open to such influences and in whose hands the book was likely to fall.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic it is not advisable to travel from Hyderabad to Mumbai. You can write an appropriate reply with the help of an Advocate dealing with customs matters. Your item will be confiscated and you will be liable to pay the petty penalty.

You may contact my secretary to connect with me for clarification.

Gopal Verma,
Advocate on Record & Amicus Curiae,
Supreme Court of India

Shri Gopal Verma
Advocate, New Delhi
308 Answers
5 Consultations

4.0 on 5.0

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