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142. Recovery of sums due to Government. – (1) Where any sum payable by any person under this Act including the amount required to be paid to the credit of the Central Government under 28B is not paid, -
(a) the proper officer may deduct or may require any other officer of customs to deduct the amount so payable from any money owing to such person which may be under the control of the proper officer or such other officer of customs; or
(b) the Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs may recover or may require any other officer of customs to recover the amount so payable by detaining and selling any goods belonging to such person which are under the control of the Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs or such other officer of customs; or
(c) if the amount cannot be recovered from such person in the manner provided in clause (a) or clause (b) -
(i) the Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs may prepare a certificate signed by him specifying the amount due from such person and send it to the Collector of the district in which such person owns any property or resides or carries on his business and the said Collector on receipt of such certificate shall proceed to recover from such person the amount specified thereunder as if it were an arrear of land revenue; or
(ii) the proper officer may, on an authorisation by Commissioner of Customs and in accordance with the rules made in this behalf, distrain any movable or immovable property belonging to or under the control of such person, and detain the same until the amount payable is paid; and in case, any part of the said amount payable or of the cost of the distress or keeping of the property, remains unpaid for a period of thirty days next after any such distress, may cause the said property to be sold and with the proceeds of such sale, may satisfy the amount payable and the costs including cost of sale remaining unpaid and shall render the surplus, if any, to such person.
Provided that where the person (hereinafter referred to as predecessor), by whom any sum payable under this Act including the amount required to be paid to the credit of the Central Government under 28B is not paid, transfers or otherwise disposes of his business or trade in whole or in part, or effects any change in the ownership thereof, in consequence of which he is succeeded in such business or trade by any other person, all goods, materials, preparations, plants, machineries, vessels, utensils, implements and articles in the custody or possession of the person so succeeding may also be attached and sold by the proper officer, after obtaining written approval from the Commissioner of Customs, for the purposes of recovering the amount so payable by such predecessor at the time of such transfer or otherwise disposal or change.
(2) Where the terms of any bond or other instrument executed under this Act or any rules or regulations made thereunder provide that any amount due under such instrument may be recovered in the manner laid down in sub- (1), the amount may, without prejudice to any other mode of recovery, be recovered in accordance with the provisions of that sub-.
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