Publishing Import & Export Personalise data is Punishable Offence says CBIC to MP Shashi Tharoor
This is incomprehensible. How can a democracy restrict discussion of publicly available data on the country’s trade? The BJP can bulldoze even such preposterous laws through Parliament – but surely the courts will find it unconstitutional?
Insertion of new section 135AA
94. After section 135A of the Customs Act, the following section shall be inserted, namely—
135AA. (1) If a person publishes any information relating to the value or classification or quantity of goods catered for export from India. or import into India. or the details of the exporter or importer of such goods under this Act, unless required so to do under any law for the time being in force, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees. or with both.
(2) Nothing contained in this section shall apply to any publication made by or on behalf of the Central Government
Explanation: For the purposes of this section, the expression ”publishes” includes reproducing the information in printed or electronic form and making it available for the public.
Hon’ble MP’s attention is invited to the clause proposed as sub-section. 135 AA (2) under which Government agencies, such as, Department of Commerce, will continue to uninterruptedly publish data as per current practice.
The proposed clause will only criminalize the illicit publication of personalized, transaction level information by private entities, which affects the competitive position of Indian businesses in international trade and compromises their data privacy.