In a humanitarian gesture, the customs authorities helped a woman get personal belongings of her brother, who died in the US recently, by waiving duty on the parcel.
The move came after the dead's sister Shubhra Goyal took to Twitter to seek help in getting her brother's belongings, sent to India by the US authorities through a private courier.
"Our family is not in a position to pay customs duty now. Hence you are requested to kindly get the customs duty waived on his (her brother) last memories and help the family in this difficult times. Our family will be lifelong indebted to you," she had tweeted on Saturday in Hindi, tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Her tweets, carrying other relevant details, were shared on the internet.
A senior Delhi customs official on Sunday said that the goods were lying with the courier company at the New Courier Terminal in Delhi and they were not presented to the customs for clearance.
"Any import consignment coming through courier comes to Indian customs for clearance when the courier company files a courier bill of entry (BoE). Indian customs do not even have a knowledge of a shipment till the BoE is filed," he said.
In a tweet on Sunday, the Delhi Customs said the shipment has been cleared with "NIL customs duty".
"We extend our sincere condolences to the family & may the almighty give them strength to bear the loss of a loved one. In this case @FedExIndia had not filed the BoE, which was filed at the behest of Indian Customs & shipment has been cleared with NIL customs duty & demurrage," it tweeted.
We extend our sincere condolences to the family & may the almighty give them strength to bear the loss of a loved one. In this case @FedExIndia had not filed the BoE, which was filed at the behest of Indian Customs & shipment has been cleared with NIL customs duty & demurrage. https://t.co/1sNNr4sF19— Delhi Customs (@Delhicustoms) September 20, 2020
Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur also tweeted that immediate action to expedite her request was undertaken by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and Delhi Customs.
"Dear @ShubhrangiG My sincere condolences on your loss, taking note of the urgency of your request, immediate action to expedite this was undertaken by @cbic_india @Delhicustoms," Mr Thakur tweeted on Sunday.
When contacted, Shubhra's mother Nisha Goyal expressed appreciation and gratitude towards the customs authorities.
"I am really thankful to the customs authorities. We could not have afford customs duty being demanded from us for getting the shipment. They have done a big humanitarian help to the family in this hour of grief," she told PTI from Uttarakhand's Kotdwar.
Nisha, who works in Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), said she has got a call from the Assistant Commissioner of Customs informing her that the shipment has been released and it should reach her soon.
"I feel really relaxed. Those items in the shipment are all I have as my son's last memory," she said.
Arpit Goyal died in Buffalo city in the United States of America on August 26. He had gone to the US early this year to study Master in Computer Science, according to Shubhra's tweet.
Arpit's body were received by the family in India on September 5.
Even his belongings including laptop and certain important documents were also sent by the US authorities, which reached Delhi on September 18, 2020, her tweets said.
However, the shipment sent via private courier company was pending for clearance as the firm had not filed the BoE, the customs official added.