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2015 (3) TMI 1258

Head Note / Extract:
Immunity from fine, penalty and prosecution - Benefit of reduced penalty of 25% - Scope of section 11AC before and after amendment w.e.f. 8.4.2011 - Clandestine removal - short payment of duty - Sponge Iron in lump and fine form - Held that: - out of the total duty amounting to ₹ 1,73,25,387/- accepted by the applicants, a sum of ₹ 1,07,19,305/- pertains to the period prior to 8-4-2011 and the balance amount relates to the period after 8-4-2011 when the option of paying 25% of the duty determined as penalty is no longer available. Some changes in the provisions of Section 11AC of the Act have been proposed in the Union Budget 2015, but the same are still to become law.

As per sub section 8 of Section 32F of the Act, an order of settlement under Section 32F(5) has to provide for the terms of settlement including any demand by way of duty, penalty or interest and all other matters to make the settlement effective which includes consideration of grant of immunity from prosecution as provided in Section 32(K) of the Act. Immunity from prosecution without approaching the Settlement Commission is governed by the provisions of Central Excise (Compounding of Offences) Rules, 2005. As per these rules, a person is liable to pay upto 50% of the duty evaded as compounding fees to seek immunity from prosecution.

The Central Excise Duty in this case is settled at ₹ 1,73,25,387/- - The applicant is liable to pay interest as per the provisions of Sections 11AB and 11AA of the Central Excise Act, 1944 - the Bench imposes penalty of ₹ 50,00,000/- (Rupees fifty lakhs only) on the applicant M/s. Maithon Steel & Power Ltd. (Unit-I) and ₹ 20,00,000/- (Rupees twenty lakhs only) each on the co-applicants, Shri Sitaram Bagaria and Shri Amit Agarwalla and grants immunity from penalty in excess of these amounts - appeal disposed off.


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