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2015 (9) TMI 1151 - HC - Central Excise
Clandestine manufacture and removal of goods - Confiscation of goods - Whether the decision of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal upholding demand of ₹ 58,54,825/- and confiscation of 24 air-conditioners along with duty and penalty demand of ₹ 3,16,800/- is perverse and contrary to the facts on record - Held that:- There is no attempt made by the Department to substantiate the allegation of manufacture of as many as 606 ACs by the Appellant. No evidence has been produced to show that the basic raw materials required for manufacturing such a large number of ACs was procured by the Appellant. - impugned majority order of the CESTAT on the issue of clandestine removal of 606 ACs by the Appellant without payment of duty suffers from serious errors and, therefore, cannot be sustained in law. - Court is not inclined to consider the plea of the Respondent that the matter should be remanded for a fresh consideration by the CESTAT. In the first place, it must be remembered that the search operation in this case took place way back in 1992. The long drawn process of adjudication over a period of 12 years was followed by the judicial review process for another 10 years. Sending the case back to the CESTAT for a fresh determination would prolong the case interminably. The question of now producing persons whose statements were recorded 23 years after the event for cross-examination is impractical and not feasible. Secondly, no fresh material has to be brought on record to warrant a re-look. The Court is satisfied that the existing material is insufficient to sustain the adjudication order of the CCE on the issue.
Court set asides the impugned majority order of the CESTAT on the issue concerning the alleged clandestine removal of the 606 ACs by the Appellant and hereby quashes the corresponding demand - Court in regard to the removal of 606 ACs is accordingly answered in favour of the Assessee and against the Revenue. - impugned majority order of the CESTAT as regards the issue of the clandestine removal of 24 ACs with the corresponding duty demand of ₹ 3,16,800 is hereby affirmed. - Decided partly in favour of assessee.