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2015 (7) TMI 455 - MADRAS HIGH COURT

2015 (7) TMI 455 - MADRAS HIGH COURT - 2015 (322) E.L.T. 170 (Mad.) - Revocation of Customs Broker Licence - belated issuance of SCN - allegation that, it was found that the Customs Broker, the petitioner herein had attempted to assist and clear the impugned goods at a much lower value, to evade payment of applicable duties by suppressing the Load Port Chartered Engineer's Certificate and original purchase invoices of the subject machineries, which would have resulted a possible revenue loss to .....

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he impugned show cause notice has been issued beyond the statutory period, as rightly pointed out by the learned senior counsel for the petitioner that the same cannot be sustained for want of jurisdiction. - SCN set aside.

In view of setting aside the impugned show case notice dated 05.03.2015, there is no impediment for the respondent to renew the Customs Broker Licence of the petitioner in terms of Regulation 9(1) of the CBLR, 2013. - Decided in favor of appellant. - W.P. Nos. 7188 .....

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tition filed in W.P.No.7189 of 2015 has been filed praying for the issue a Writ of Mandamus directing the respondent, to renew the Customs Broker Licence of the petitioner based on its application dated 09/01/2015. 3. The petitioner has come forward with the present Writ Petition WP 7188 of 2015, challenging the show cause notice dated 05.03.2015 in F.No.R-46/CHA issued by the respondent, in and by which, the respondent has called upon the petitioner to show cause as to why the licence issued to .....

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ated 07.04.2012, which were imported by M/s. Mos Metro India and cleared by the petitioner, it was found that the Customs Broker, the petitioner herein had attempted to assist and clear the impugned goods at a much lower value, to evade payment of applicable duties by suppressing the Load Port Chartered Engineer's Certificate and original purchase invoices of the subject machineries, which would have resulted a possible revenue loss to the Government, to the tune of ₹ 1.05 crores. 5. A .....

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the respondent by proceedings dated 13.06.2012, has suspended the licence of the petitioner. 6. Aggrieved by the said suspension order, the petitioner had filed a Writ Petition in W.P. No.15544 of 2012. The said Writ Petition came to be disposed of by order dated 31.01.2015 by this Court, directing the respondent to conduct the procedural enquiry as contemplated under the relevant rules by giving fair opportunity to the petitioner. In the meantime, it appears that the period of validity of lice .....

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ng for the issuance of Writ of Mandamus, to direct the respondent to renew the Customs Broker licence of the petitioner based on its application dated 09.01.2015. 8. Challenging, the impugned show cause notice, Mr. T. V. Ramanujam, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner would contend that the impugned show cause notice cannot be sustained since it has been issued by the respondent in violation of the period of limitation prescribed under Section 20(1) of CBLR, 2013, which insisted t .....

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e petitioner as early as on 09.01.2015. In support of his contentions, the learned senior counsel relied upon the decisions of this Court in MKS Shipping Agencies Pvt. Ltd., Vs. The Commissioner of Customs, Tuticorin in W.P.(MD) No.16351 of 2012 and in The Commissioner of Customs (Sea port Import) Vs. The Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal reported in 2014-3-L.W.632. 9. Heard both sides and perused the records. 10. As per Regulation 18 of CBLR, 2013, the respondent-Commissioner of .....

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resent writ petitions. 11. Although, ordinarily Writ Court may not exercise its discretionary jurisdiction in entertaining the Writ Petition, questioning the notice of show cause, unless the same inter-alia appears to have been without jurisdiction. In the present case, the main contention canvassed by the learned senior counsel is that the impugned show cause notice has been issued in contravention of the Regulation 20(1) of CBLR, 2013. 12. In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) .....

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t and order the forfeiture of the whole or part of the security, on certain specific grounds stated in Clauses (a) (b) and (c) of sub-Regulation (1) of Regulation 20. The procedure for suspending or revoking licence under Regulation 20 is prescribed in Regulation 22. 13. In other words, the power to suspend or revoke the licence is to be traced to Regulation 20 and procedure for suspending or revoking the licence is to be found in Regulation 22. The power of the Respondent to pass the impugned o .....

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nce and requiring the said Customs House Agent to submit within thirty days to the Deputy Commissioner of Customs or Assistant Commissioner of Customs nominated by him, a written statement of defense and also to specify in the said statement whether the Customs House Agent desires to be heard in person by the said Deputy Commissioner of Customs or Assistant Commissioner of Customs. 14. Therefore, on a perusal of the above, it is explicit that the show cause notice under Regulation 20(1) is requi .....

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hat the same cannot be sustained for want of jurisdiction. 15. In similar circumstances, this Court in "M/s.MKS Shippping Agencies Pvt. Ltd.," (cited supra) has considered the same issue and held that, issuing show cause notice beyond the period of 90 days as prescribed under Regulation 22(1) cannot be sustained. In paragraph 5 and 6 of this Court order dated 04.01.2103 are found to be relevant and are extracted hereunder : "5.The proceedings impugned in the Writ Petition is only .....

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