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2015 (4) TMI 565 - ORISSA HIGH COURT

2015 (4) TMI 565 - ORISSA HIGH COURT - 2015 (322) E.L.T. 657 (Ori.) - Penalty u/s 11AC - Violation of principle of natural justice - Opportunity of hearing not granted - Application of Section 33A - Held that:- Section 33A of the Act, 1944 and particularly the proviso to sub- Section(2) does not come into operation. Clearly, the petitioner had been denied his right under law to make his defence prior to the adjudication of the proceeding. We have no hesitation in coming to hold that rules of the .....

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oming to hold that rules of the natural justice have not been complied with and Section 33A (2) proviso of the Act, 1944 has been brought into play, without the necessary circumstances available in the present case to reach the said conclusion. - Impugned order is set aside - Decided in favour of assessee. - W. P. (C) No. 18137 of 2010 - Dated:- 30-3-2015 - Indrajit Mahanty And B. N. Mahapatra,JJ. For the Petitioner : M/s. L.Pangari, B.Jena, A.K.Das & S.K.Mishra For the Respondent : Mrs. Mri .....

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44 (herein after referred to as the Act, 1944) apart from penalty of ₹ 50,00,000/- against Sri Neeraj Goel, Managing Director as well as further ₹ 10,00,000/- against Sri Piyush Gupta, the authorized signatory and power of attorney holder of the petitioner-company under Rule 26 of the Central Excise Rules, 2002. 2. Learned counsel for the petitioners essentially presses the plea that there has been violation of natural justice as well as the Central Excise Act, 1944 and no adequate o .....

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of transfer, fresh hearing was fixed to 21.6.2010, on which date, the petitioner once again prayed for an adjournment and the matter was fixed to 29.6.2010. Prior to the date, i.e. on 25.6.2010, the petitioner made another request for adjournment for a period of two months on the plea that the averments made in the notice are voluminous and some of the relied upon documents were dim (unclear). Accordingly, the last and final date of hearing was fixed to 12.7.2010 and purportedly communicated to .....

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hearing intimation sent from the office of the Commissioner had been received by the petitioner on 14.7.2010, i.e. after 12.7.2010 on which date, the purported date of hearing had been fixed. The impugned order further goes on to submit that the authority investigated into the matter as to the date of receipt of the letter and came to a finding that the petitioner had deliberately delayed receipt of personal-hearing-intimation by speed post with an object to delay the process of adjudication and .....

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as follows: 33A. 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 recoded in writing: Provided th .....

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journment at the behest of the petitioner. Thereafter, the matter has been fixed by the adjudicating authority for the first time on 21.6.2010 fixing the hearing on 29.6.2010. On 25.6.2010, the petitioner sought for an adjournment. At best, this could have been treated as the first adjournment sought for by the petitioner in course of the proceeding and the next date was fixed on 12.7.2010. Admittedly, though it is claimed that the oral intimation had been issued to the petitioner in course of h .....

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