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Andaman Timber Industries Versus Commissioner of Central Excise, Kolkata-II

2015 (10) TMI 442 - SUPREME COURT

Valuation - Principal of natural justice - demand based of statement of dealers - cross-examine the dealers whose statements were relied upon by the Adjudicating Authority - Held that:- not allowing the assessee to cross-examine the witnesses by the Adjudicating Authority though the statements of those witnesses were made the basis of the impugned order is a serious flaw which makes the order nullity inasmuch as it amounted to violation of principles of natural justice because of which the asses .....

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amine those dealers and what extraction the appellant wanted from them. - Whether the goods were, in fact, sold to the said dealers/witnesses at the price which is mentioned in the price-list itself could be the subject matter of cross-examination. Therefore, it was not for the Adjudicating Authority to presuppose as to what could be the subject matter of the cross-examination and make the remarks as mentioned above. - If the testimony of these two witnesses is discredited, there was no .....

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s. Alka Agarwal and B. Krishna Prasad Advs. ORDER 1. The appellant-assessee has a factory at Bamboo Flat, South Andamans and its head office is in Calcutta. The assessee is manufacturing plywoods and related products in its factory at South Andamans. Some of these products are sold from the factory premises in South Andamans only to certain buyers. However, major portion of the products manufactured there are sold to other dealers from their numerous depots which are situated at different places .....

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m Santosh Kumar, Calcutta and Sri Laxmidas Panchmati, partner of M/s. Laxmidas Brothers, Bombay were recorded and on that basis, Show-Cause Notice dated 03.05.1995 was served upon the assessee stating as to why the price at which the goods were sold to these customers from the depots may not be the basis for determining the value for the purpose of excise duty. The respondent contested the aforesaid Show-Cause Notice by furnishing its reply wherein various defences/justifications were given. Amo .....

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in the Show-Cause Notice. The Adjudicating Authority also took into consideration the price-list of the assessee maintained at its depots which was treated as the price for the purposes of levying the excise duty. 2. The appellant filed appeal against the aforesaid order of the Adjudicating Authority. However, this appeal is also been dismissed by the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as 'Tribunal'). The perusal of the order of the Tribunal would .....

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y 2 per cent and most of the sales, i.e., to the extent of 98 per cent, were from the depots of the assessee which are situated at other places and not at the place of factory, i.e., South Andamans. (2) Though the price at which sales were made ex-factory at South Andamans remains the same over a period of time as far as sales to depots are concerned, the price increased from time to time. 3. Insofar as the plea of the appellant that it was not allowed to cross-examine the dealers whose statemen .....

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e find them contravened and not normal price as envisaged under section 4(1), we find no reason to disturb the Commissioners orders." 4. Challenging the aforesaid order, the present appeal is preferred by the appellant-assessee. 5. We have heard Mr. Kavin Gulati, learned senior counsel appearing for the assessee, and Mr. K. Radhakrishnan, learned senior counsel who appeared for the Revenue. 6. According to us, not allowing the assessee to cross-examine the witnesses by the Adjudicating Auth .....

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g Authority did not grant this opportunity to the assessee. It would be pertinent to note that in the impugned order passed by the Adjudicating Authority he has specifically mentioned that such an opportunity was sought by the assessee. However, no such opportunity was granted and the aforesaid plea is not even dealt with by the Adjudicating Authority. As far as the Tribunal is concerned, we find that rejection of this plea is totally untenable. The Tribunal has simply stated that cross-examinat .....

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