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2015 (3) TMI 625 - ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT

2015 (3) TMI 625 - ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT - 2015 (322) E.L.T. 908 (All.) - Validity of summons issued - Powers under Section 14 - Wrong utilization of CENVAT Credit - STL Company is operating on papers only and has no physical existence, therefore no services could be provided by the said company to petitioner-Company - petitioner received various summons/ notice asking petitioner's Directors to appear before Excise Authorities in enquiry under Section 14 of Act, 1944 - Held that:- The custom auth .....

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itution. This provision is not confined to the persons or documents within the territorial jurisdiction of concerned Officer. The purpose of summoning involves multifarious reasons which includes the inquiry into the truth of transactions in which the persons who are summoned are or may be involved or otherwise have some information etc. The mere fact that the letters sent by the Excise authorities requiring certain documents have been replied or the documents have been supplied would not entitl .....

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the Act and there is nothing on record to show that it has been exercised with male fide etc., no interference at this stage is called for. - Decided against assessee. - Writ Tax No. - 183 of 2015 - Dated:- 10-3-2015 - Hon'ble Sudhir Agarwal And Hon'ble Shashi Kant,JJ. For the Petitioner : A. B. Sinha For the Respondent : Ashok Singh, Sr.S.C. ORDER 1. Heard Sri Ravi Kant, learned Senior Advocate, assisted by Sri A.B. Sinha, Advocate, for petitioner and Sri Ashok Singh, Advocate appearin .....

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en required to appear before the authorities concerned to participate in the enquiry and this exercise of power summoning petitioners personally is patently arbitrary. Reliance is placed on a Division Bench judgment of this Court in Dr. Lalji Singh Vs. National Commission and others 2014 (4) ADJ 41 (DB). 3. The facts, as borne out from record, are that petitioner-Company is engaged in the business of fabrication, erection and installation of power sub-stations having been incorporated under Comp .....

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ot;). In other words, petitioner-Company outsourced the aforesaid work of installation of sub-station which it had got for execution from parent Company (i.e. UPPTC). It is said that M/s STL Company was registered with Commissioner, Central Excise and Service Tax, Service Tax Division-I, 39, Kolkata, for the purpose of Service Tax having Service Tax Code AALCS3353CST001. Petitioner claimed to have deposited service tax with STL Company for which certificate was also issued by the said Company. T .....

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ds were procured. iii. Details of CENVAT credit on input/ input services/ Capital goods availed on such documents. iv. Details of any cases booked against M/s Kunj Power Project Private Ltd for any transaction with M/s Sakshi Trade-Link Pvt. Ltd. Kolkata." 5. Petitioner claimed to have submitted reply vide letter dated 8.1.2014 furnishing information as required vide aforesaid letter dated 16.12.2013. Thereafter in October 2014, the Superintendent (C.P.), Central Excise and Service Tax visi .....

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tioner had wrongly utilized CENVAT credit of ₹ 1,15,27,245/- and the said amount should be reversed. In the said notice, it was discussed for the first time that STL Company is operating on papers only and has no physical existence, therefore no services could be provided by the said company to petitioner-Company. Petitioner claims to have replied on 22.1.2015. Thereafter, petitioner received various summons/ notice asking petitioner's Directors to appear before Excise Authorities in e .....

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etitioner's Directors have been summoned to appears before the Central Excise authorities for the purpose of participating in enquiry. He contended that the aforesaid exercise is without any application of mind and, therefore, the impugned orders are patently illegal and placed reliance on Dr. Lalji Singh Vs. National Commission (supra) which was a case arising from the proceedings initiated by National Commission for Scheduled Castes. 7. Section 14 of Act, 1944 confers power upon Central Ex .....

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by the Central Government in this behalf, shall have power to summon any person whose attendance he considers necessary either to give evidence or to produce a document or any other thing in any inquiry which such officer is making for any of the purposes of this Act. A summons to produce documents or other things may be for the production of certain specified documents or things or for the production of all documents or things of a certain description in the possession or under the control of t .....

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e under this section. (3) Every such inquiry as aforesaid shall be deemed to be a "judicial proceeding" within the meaning of Section 193 and Section 228 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860)." 8. The custom authorities, therefore, have statutory right to examine persons and to summon them to give evidence and produce documents in connection with enquiry relating to any goods or services. In absence of any material on record, i.e., pleading with due support of the documents .....

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ons who are summoned are or may be involved or otherwise have some information etc. The mere fact that the letters sent by the Excise authorities requiring certain documents have been replied or the documents have been supplied would not entitle individuals not to be summoned for the purpose of giving evidence or otherwise examination by the Central Excise Officer. 9. It is not the case of learned counsel for petitioners that the aforesaid notices/summons lacks patent jurisdiction. What he, howe .....

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nt in Dr. Lalji Singh Vs. National Commission (supra) is concerned, the same has no application whatsoever to the case in hand. Therein the Court considered validity of notice issued by National Commission for Scheduled Castes to the Vice-Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University directing him to personally appear before the Commission. The Court recorded a finding that the complaint was not made in accordance with law. It was not maintainable before the Commission and, therefore, entire procee .....

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sions of the Rule 7.4.1 (e), (f) & (g) of the Rules. 48. The Commission entertained the complaint in a routine manner without applying its mind as to whether the same fell within its jurisdiction and whether it was in conformity with the Rules made by it or not. ..." 12. Again in para 61, 69 and 77, the Court said as under: "61. ...but the complaint was not in conformity with Rules 7.4.1 (d), (g) and (h) of the Rules, thus not maintainable." "69. The subject-matter of the .....

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