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Vodafone Cellular Limited Versus Union of India, The Commissioner of Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax

2015 (4) TMI 165 - MADRAS HIGH COURT

Validity of the order passed - Violation of principle of natural justice - Opportunity of hearing not granted - Held that:- A reading of Section 33-A (1) and (2) of the Central Excise Act together would make the position very clear that affording an opportunity of hearing to the licensee is mandatory else it would defeat the very purpose of the Act. In this case the petitioner has produced documents along with their objection dated 18.12.2014 and sought time to appear for personal hearing. Pursu .....

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refore, the impugned order is set aside - Decided in favour of assessee. - W.P.No.6995 of 2015 - Dated:- 19-3-2015 - S. Vaidyanathan,J. For the Petitioner : Mr.Satish Parasaran For the Respondents : Mr. A. P. Srinivas ORDER The Writ Petitioner has come forward with the aforesaid prayer, challenging the order of the 2nd respondent. 2. The only issue raised by the learned counsel for the petitioner is that they were not given opportunity of hearing before the final order dated 26.12.2014 was passe .....

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of the principles of natural justice and the mandatory procedure contemplated under 33-A (1) and (2)of the Act. 3. On the other hand, the learned Additional Government Pleader would contend that the petitioner has been given adequate opportunity to defend the proceedings initiated against him and therefore, it cannot be said that the impugned proceedings are in violation of the principles of natural justice. It is also contended that the Act merely contemplates affording an opportunity to the a .....

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Adjudication procedure. (1) The Adjudicating authority shall, in any proceeding under this Chapter or any other provision of this Act, give an opportunity of being heard to a party in a proceeding, if the party so desires. (2) The Adjudicating authority may, if sufficient cause is shown, at any stage of proceeding referred to in sub-section (1), grant time, from time to time, to the parties or any of them and adjourn the hearing for reasons to be recorded in writing: Provided that no such adjour .....

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irector General, Directorate General of Central Excise to the petitioner. The said show cause notice dated 31.03.2014 would indicate that the petitioner was called upon to submit their objections within 30 days from the date of receipt of the show cause notice, or if already they have submitted their explanation, they were directed to appear before the said authority on the appointed date and time, else, their case will be decided on the basis of the available records and evidence. On receipt of .....

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e and to adduce any other evidence, as may be required. On receipt of such explanation dated 16.06.2014 of the petitioner, the second respondent, by a communication dated 14.11.2014, asked the petitioner to appear before the Commissionerate for an enquiry on any of the dates given thereunder namely 28.11.2014, 11.12.2014 or 18.12.2014 in person or through their authorised representative. The petitioner, thereafter, by a communication dated 18.12.2014, informed the respondent that their legal tea .....

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