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Cus - Commissioner had misplaced sympathy on appellant to exonerate them - CC to conduct enquiry & do needful: CESTAT

By TIOL News Service

MUMBAI, JULY 17, 2017: WHILE conducting investigation, the Customs department noticed that the goods [Polyester fabrics] were overvalued to take undue DEPB credit.

The Commissioner relied on the market enquiry reports as well as the quality report and disallowed DEPB credit only in respect of live consignment . Insofar as the earlier two bills of entry were concerned, the adjudicating authority did not deny DEPB although the goods were overvalued.

The appellants filed appeals before the CESTAT in the year 2007 but on account of their non-appearance the matters were rolling on board on several occasions. When a last opportunity of hearing was extended, an adjournment application was filed stating that one Shri Suriyanarayanan is unable to appear. Noting that it is not mentioned whether the said person is engaged as an Advocate and considering that the application is not filed by the appellant or representing counsel, the same was rejected.

The AR prayed that the order should be upheld. Incidentally, there is no mention of any Revenue appeal.

The Bench observed -

“5. When the records were perused, it transpires that there was overvaluation of the goods as per the Quality Certificate issued by the aforesaid two entities and learned Commissioner without going into the sum and substance of investigation as depicted in para 7 and 8 of the show cause notice, had misplaced sympathetically on appellant to exonerate them from charge against the previous consignment of claim of undue DEPB credit. He allowed DEPB credit on past consignments to the detriment of justice. He only disallowed DEPB credit only on the live consignment. Further he permitted M/s. H.M. Printer to take back the goods on payment of redemption fine.”

Expressing surprise at the manner in which the matter was adjudicated with total disregard to law causing prejudice to interest of Revenue (in the words of the CESTAT), the Chief Commissioner was requested to conduct enquiry and ‘do the needful at his end '.

As for the appeal's, the Bench observed that the SCN brings out contumacious conduct of the appellant and their manner of disregard to the law without providing any material to exhibit their co-operation with the investigation; that there were some bogus entities and fake bills were raised by them to enable the appellants to inflate value of the exports.

Concluding that the appellants had oblique motive to defraud revenue in the manner brought out in the show cause notice and fake and fabricated invoices were used to make undue DEPB claim, the appeals were dismissed.

(See 2017-TIOL-2452-CESTAT-MUM)