India is democracy whose economy got liberated in the nineties and brought lots of changes in the financial, economical and business world leading to rise and growth of our country as uprising super power in all terms. At one hand it was the desire of the growing country to rise and grow more by allowing the foreign capitalists and corporates to operate in India and on the other hand it had to ensure that the Indian industries and small players do not get negatively impacted by the liberalization. The lawmakers and economist had a serious role to play and maintain the balance between growth, foreign investments, import-export and Indian home-grown business owners thus although it allowed free movements of few goods and services to and from the country and restricted many goods and services.
With the idea to regulate the import and export of certain goods the government made many laws and amended many of them from time to time depending on what was good and justified for the Indian economy as well as society. A country allows only those items to be allowed easily which are neither going to impact the local industries greatly nor are supposed to be prohibited as per the socio-economic and legal conditions. For example, howsoever a country develops or get modernised it will never allow the drugs and psychotropic substances to be imported for illegal use and abuse. That’s the reason that some of the allowed dutiable goods have heavy duties to be paid while importing and some of the items which are banned or prohibited items like a custom sex toy or drugs cannot be allowed to be imported.
In India there are two major laws which govern the rules and regulations around the import of goods and services and empower the custom to act as per those laws- The Customs Act of 1962 and The Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992. In case of import of sex toys or online buying of sex toys, the Section 292 of Indian Penal Code,1860 is also attracted.
Since sex toys and their trade is banned in India. Hence, none of the shops deal with or sell custom sex toy. Even the Indian e-commerce companies complying with the laws of the land they do not sell sex toys in India. Usually, the buyer finds a sex toy for online purchase only on those e-commerce websites which are registered and operated outside India like Alibaba.com and amazon.com from other countries. As the cyber world is boundary-less and one can buy any item from anywhere by paying the money online. So, people residing in India out of curiosity and sometimes mistakenly order online custom sex toy from these websites. Once the purchase is made then those companies which are operating outside India, they pack the send the purchased sex toy through international courier or post to the Indian address of the buyer. Invariably those items which come from outside have to go through the custom scanner where they are being held up as it belongs to a prohibited category. For people who give Kolkata address, the Kolkata custom department is the concerned authority and thus, Kolkata lawyers may be hired for representation.
Once the custom arrives at a conclusion that a contraband material has been imported to Indian Territory then it confiscates the item and intimate the buyer for further actions. The custom sends a show cause notice under section 111 of the Custom Act, 1962 and Section 3 of the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992. It is also mentioned that as per Sections 112(a) and (b) of the Custom Act the person can be held liable for penal action too.
Once a person received the notice from the custom stating that a sex toy has been received in his name which was sent from abroad then the person who receives the notice is given an opportunity for personal hearing to put forward his pleadings and submissions. Ideally the Custom allows you to prove that it is not a prohibited item or to let you request them to confiscate the item with some monetary penalty attached to it. A person who receives the show cause notice can himself go and appear in front of the Custom or can hire a custom lawyer to represent. When a representation is made to the Custom with a formal application and invoice copy, bank transaction details attached to it then the Kolkata Custom or other concerned department provides an opportunity for personal hearing. In the hearing the accused person can plead whatever he wants to and then the Custom will take its own decision to confiscate and penalize the person.
How is custom sex toy case closed?
Once the penalty has been imposed and paid by the accused person then the Custom sex toy confiscates that was bought online and the case is closed. The person who ordered import of sex toys online is left without any remarks or creating any history with his name unlike it happens with a criminal case as per the Indian Judicial System.
Q- Can I buy a sex toy which is being sold by some e-commerce companies outside India?
A- No. you should not buy those items as once bought they will send it to your address in India and import of sex toys is banned in India. You will be called for it by the Custom when it arrives.
Q- Can I buy a sex toy when I am in other country?
A- This depends on the laws of that country and if it allowed there then you can buy there.
Q- I bought a sex toy in foreign country when I travelled there, can I bring it with me while traveling back to India?
A- You can buy a custom sex toy in a foreign country, if allowed there, but you cannot bring it to India with you.
Q- When I bring the sex toy with me while travelling back to India how will they catch me?
A- When you travel back to India at airport or port you can pass through a green channel if you got nothing to declare. But still the Custom can check your baggage.
Q- How much penalty does one have to pay when caught by Custom?
A- The penalty amount depends upon the value of the item that has been ordered but the minimum is Rs. 5,000/-. Kolkata custom department, or any other concerned authority for that matter, will look into the facts and then decide the amount of penalty accordingly.
Q- If a case is made by Custom authorities for buying custom sex toy, then will it be recorded as criminal case against my name?
A- No, if the penalty and paid and proper application is submitted to them then there will be no criminal charges against you.