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2022 (9) TMI 326 - Customs
Revocation of Customs Broker License - Period of limitation - relevant date for issuing SCN after the offence report - illegal withdrawal of Duty Drawback by filing export documents on behalf of six non-existent firms - aiding the export of overvalued ‘Floor Coverings’ - opportunity to customs broker to cross examine the persons examined in support of the grounds forming the basis of proceedings - HELD THAT:- The records indicate that earlier the license of the appellant was suspended on 24.02.2015, which order was confirmed on 23.03.2015. This suspension order was challenged by the appellant before the Delhi High Court on the ground that though the offence report was submitted on 16.02.2015, the show cause notice was issued on 24.09.2015 much beyond the statutory period of ninety days contemplated under regulation 20(1) of the 2013 Regulations.
The department issue another show cause notice dated 22.10.2019 proposing penalty for the past exports against the same exporters. The appellant alleges that the show cause notice dated 22.10.2019 was issued on the basis of the earlier investigation carried out against 21 non-existent exporters for availing ineligible duty drawback and the report of said offense had earlier been forwarded by a letter dated 16.02.2015.
A show cause notice dated 24.01.2020 was then issued to the appellant proposing to revoke the Customs Broker License of the appellant by considering the show cause notice dated 22.10.2019 issued under the provisions of the Customs Act as the offence report - The Department clearly committed an error in initiating proceedings for revocation of the Customs Broker License of the appellant by issuing the show cause notice dated 24.01.2020 treating the show cause notice dated 22.10.2019 as the offence report. The show cause notice dated 24.01.2020 proceeding to revoke the license of the appellant could not have treated the show cause notice dated 22.10.2019 as the offence report because the said show cause notice dated 22.10.2019 arises out of the offence report dated 16.02.2015.
The impugned order dated 30.09.2022 passed by the Commissioner, therefore, cannot be sustained and is set aside - Appeal allowed.