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2009 (8) TMI 619

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..... PB) - Dated:- 12-8-2009 - R.M.S. Khandeparkar, President and Shri M. Veeraiyan, Member (T) Shri Vikrant Kakkaria, advocate, for the Appellant. Shri K.P. Singh, DR, for the Respondent. ORDER [Order per: Justice R.M.S. Khandeparkar, President (for the Bench) (Oral)] Heard at length the advocate for the appellants and learned DR. This appeal arises from order dated 3-2-09 passed by the Commissioner, Chandigarh, whereby a penalty of ₹ 1,06,91,835/- has been imposed in terms of proviso to Rule 96Z0(3) for failure to pay the duty within the time stipulated under Rule 96Z0. 2. The appellants were engaged in the manufacture of non-alloy steel ingots which were classifiable under Chapter 72 of the First Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985. The appellants had opted for compounded levy scheme from September, 1997 to March, 2000 and therefore, opted to discharge the duty liability under Rule 96Z0(3) of the erstwhile Central Excise Rules, 1944 read with section 3A of Central Excise Act, 1944. 3. It is the case of the department that in the cause of scrutiny of RT 12 returns for the months of April, 1998 to March, 2000, it was noticed that the appellants had failed to discharge .....

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..... ing to the learned advocate, it cannot be presumed that proceedings for similar action in terms of Rule 96Z0 could be initiated even beyond period of 5 years or that having so initiated, it can be said that same are initiated within a reasonable period. Reliance is sought to be placed in the following decisions:- (1) Collector of Central Excise, Jaipur v. Raghuvar (India) Ltd; 2000 (118) E.L.T.311 (S.C; (2) State of Punjab v. Bhatinda Distric Co-op. Milk P. Union Ltd; 2007 (217) E.L.T.325 (3) Parekh Shipping Corpn. v. Asstt. Collector of Gus. Bombay, [1995 (80) E.L.T. 781 (Bom)]; (4) Indian Farmers Fertilizers Co. Op Ltd. V. CCE [1989 E.L.T. 474] (5) CC, New Delhi v. CT. Scan Research Centre (P) Ltd. [2003 (155) E.L.T. 3 (S.C.)]; (6) Rourkela Steel Plant v. CCE, Bhubaneswar [2008 (227) E.L.T. 522 (Tri LB)]; (7) Commissioner of Trade Tax, Lucknow v. Kanhai Rain Thekedar [2005 (185) E.L.T. 3]; and (8) Neeldhara Weaving Factory v. OGET, New Delhi [2007 (210) ELI. 658 (P & H) = 2007 (5) S.T.R. 404 (P & H)]. 6. The proposition that when the law does not prescribe any specific period of limitation, the statutory authority must exercise the powers within a reasonable period of tim .....

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..... nd it would not debar the authorities from taking proper action on the bar of limitation under the provision of Section 28(1) of the said Act. In that regard, reference was made to its earlier decisions of CC (Import) Mumbai v. Jagdish Cancer and Research Centre reported in 2001 (132) ELI. 257 (S.C.) = 2001 (6) SCC 483. In other words, in the absence of provision for limitation to initiate a action for violation of A statutory provision in a statute, It cannot be said that a provision relating to a period of limitation for an action against violation of some other provisions of law under the same statute would automatically apply. A provision of law which is made applicable iii specified situations mentioned there under cannot be applied to all other actions even under the same Act. A statute which comprises of various provisions regarding different actions for different type of violations and simultaneously prescribes period of limitation for taking action in respect of some of such violations and at the same time do not provide any such period of limitation for action against one or two of such violations, it would disclose deliberate omission o' the part of legislature to pr .....

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..... he above quoted provisions of law. It is to be borne in mind that the above provisions of law were formulated under a scheme which was drawn for the benefit of manufacturers, giving option to the manufacturers to choose the method of payment of duty. The Legislature has in its wisdom provided penalty in cases of failure to comply with the obligation to pay the duty in spite of the fact that the timing and the manner relating to the payment of duty was by the choice of the assessee himself. 12. In order to contend that the scope and the mandate of a provision of law should be understood by referring to similar other provision of law either in the same statute or any other statute, it is necessary to establish the parity between two provisions as well as similarly between the circumstances in which both the provisions would be attracted. Once it is evident that the extended period of limitation under Section 11A or 11AC is invocable only upon being satisfied about the existence of the circumstances stipulated under Section 11A and such a provision being conspicuously absent in the entire scheme and the provision pertaining to the imposition of penalty under Rule 96Z0, it cannot be ac .....

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