2652907
Justice Rahim ruling says the C&E Division may have overstepped the law with their seizure

An E-commerce consultant has won his lawsuit against the Comptroller of the Customs and Excise Division over the seizure of a sex doll.

Delivering a judgement at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, this morning, High Court Judge Ricky Rahim ruled that the Division’s decision to implement a policy that any sex toy, which closely resembles the male or female genitals, is a prohibited for being indecent or absence, was unlawful.

Justice Rahim ordered the division to release the doll to the man, whose name was withheld at the request of his attorneys over the fear of embarrassment, on the condition that he pays a $5,000 security bond. The bond will stay in place pending the hearing of forfeiture and condemnation proceedings, which were brought by the Division while the lawsuit was being determined.

Guardian Media understands that the man’s attorneys are expected to make an application in the proceedings to have the charge for him contravening the Customs Act dismissed based on Justice Rahim’s ruling on the legality of the policy.

The businessman filed the lawsuit in March, last year, after he was informed that he contravened section 45(1)(l) of the Customs Act by importing the mannequin, in December 2018.

The legislation prohibits the importation of indecent or obscene prints, paintings books, and pornographic material.

The man’s lawyers—Jagdeo Singh, Dinesh Rambally, Kiel Taklalsingh, Stefan Ramkissoon and Kavita Boodoo—contended that the legislation did not cover such items and other adult toys.

Last year, businessman and sex therapist Giriraj ‘Dr Raj’ Ramnanan won his lawsuit over a shipment of adult toys that were seized by the Division in 2017.

Ramnanan’s case dealt with the Division’s delay in instituting forfeiture proceedings after the seizures and not its decision to seize the items on the basis that they were considered obscene or indecent, under the legislation.

Story by DEREK ACHONG