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Cus - SCN pending adjudication - 14 years since importer paid duty under protest and they are running from pillar to post for refund - contempt proceedings against Commr: CESTAT

By TIOL News Service

MUMBAI, DEC 07, 2017: AGAINST the import made vide Bill of Entry dated 02.07.2003, when refund of duty of Rs.26,63,876/- paid Under Protest was claimed by the appellant, that was denied by the adjudicating authority. Such denial was made by a letter dated 28.09.2006 issued on 02.11.2006 and received by the assessee on 17.11.2006.

The appellant preferred an appeal against the above letter but the Commissioner(Appeals) dismissed the same on the ground that the refund had not yet arisen.

Incidentally, a show-cause notice dated 28.09.2006 was issued on 02.11.2006 to the appellant proposing adjudication of classification of the goods imported.

However, the said SCN is not yet adjudicated.

In the matter of the order of dismissal of appeal passed by the Commissioner (Appeals), the appellant has filed an appeal before the Tribunal.

The CESTAT noted -

+ No adjudication has been done although 11 years have expired.

+ 14 years have passed and the appellant is running from pillar to post.

Therefore, the Bench observed -

"4. In view of the above, notice is hereby issued to the learned Commissioner to show-cause as to the reason why contempt proceedings shall not be initiated against him for the denial of justice to the appellant even though 11 years have passed from the date of issuance of show-cause notice and neither hearing of the case was made nor adjudication order has been passed, for reference to Hon'ble High Court of Bombay for appropriate order."

The Commissioner was directed to appear before the CESTAT in person and reply on his defence.

The Registry was directed to mark a copy of the order to the Chief Commissioner and Chairman of CBE&C, New Delhi for appropriate advice to the field.

(See 2017-TIOL-4304-CESTAT-MUM)