Categorising Body Massager As Adult Sex Toy, Officer's Imagination, Not Covered Under 'Prohibited Goods': Bombay High Court


Chambers of Ishaan Garg

Ch. No. 217, Western Wing, District & Sessions Court, Tis Hazari, New Delhi, Delhi 110054

+91 8851742417, +91 8800386163

The Bombay High Court has held that categorising the body massager as an adult sex toy was purely the officer's imagination.

The bench of Justice G. S. Kulkarni and Justice Kishore C. Sant has upheld the CESTAT's ruling, in which it was held that the view taken by the Commissioner was his imagination.

The Commissioner also referred to the provisions of Section 292(2) of the Indian Penal Code, observing that items of import would be hit by the provision, which ordains that a book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting, representation, figure, or any other object shall be deemed to be obscene if it is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect, or (where it comprises two or more distinct items), the effect of any one of its items, is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt the persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see, or hear the matter contained or embodied in it.

The Commissioner, considering the effect of Notification No. 1/1964 dated January 18, 1964, issued under the provisions of Section 11 of the Customs Act, proceeded to hold that the import for such reasons would be covered by Clause (ii) of the notification, which prohibited the import of any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting, representation, figure, or any other object.

The court held that merely because the goods can be subjected to an alternative use of nature, as the Commissioner contemplated, this can never be the test to hold that the goods were prohibited, when they otherwise satisfied the test of goods, which could be imported and sold.

Case Title: Commissioner of Customs NS-V vs. DOC Brown Industries LLP (2024 Bom HC)