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2017 (4) TMI 1288 - HC - Central Excise
Principles of natural justice - denial of cross-examination - Whether the cross examination should have been allowed and whether in absence thereof, the statement of such persons could be relied upon? - Whether further retraction on behalf of Mr Varun Gupta, Mr Suresh Rao and Mr Avinash Baliga could be held to be valid? - Held that: - The Court is unable to find any justifiable reason for the Department to deny the Respondent the opportunity of cross-examining the persons who made statements against the Respondent during the course of the investigation. This was all the more necessary since the statements made by Mr Varun Gupta and other noticees during investigation stood retracted by their subsequent affidavits. Unless the makers of the statements were not available for some reason, there was no justification to simply deny the right of cross-examination.
In a similar situation, this Court in the case of Commissioner of Central Excise, Delhi-1 v. Vishnu & Co. Pvt. Ltd. [2015 (12) TMI 593 - DELHI HIGH COURT], upheld an the order of CESTAT that had set aside the adjudication order on the ground that it proceeded on the basis of the retracted statement of the persons who were not offered for cross examination.
Appeal dismissed - decided against appellant.