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Unique Line Versus Commissioner of Customs, Chennai

2015 (11) TMI 500 - CESTAT CHENNAI

Suspension of CHA License - Levy of anti dumping duty - Appellants signed the blank documents for clearance of import of the said consignment without knowing the importer and without authorization from the importer - Held that:- As per the violation of CHALR, the sole proprietor of CHA himself had admitted that he signed blank documents, Bill of Entry without verifying the identification of the importer on the advice of persons of M/s.Dayspring Shipping Pvt. Ltd. and without obtaining authorisat .....

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a punishment to CHA should be commensurate with gravity of the offence and held that punishment of revocation of licence should be invoked as a extreme and harsh measure. - revocation of licence or any punishment on the CHA should be commensurate with gravity of the offence whereas the adjudicating authority ordered for revocation of CHA licence and forfeiture of deposit which appears to be very harsh when compared to the nature of lapse. Therefore, the revocation of licence and forfeiture of se .....

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ion of licence of Customs Broker under CBLR, 2013. 2. The brief facts of the case are that appellant is a Licenced Customs Broker having Licence No.CHN/R.66/2010-CHA and Shri A. Prabhakaran is the sole proprietor and authorized signatory of the CHA firm. Appellant s licence was suspended based on the investigation report that appellant filed Bill of Entry on behalf of the importer M/s.Odyssey Impex for clearance of goods declared as 100% woven dyed fabric . Based on test report, the appellant s .....

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rinciples of natural justice, the adjudicating authority in the impugned order ordered for revocation of licence of customs broker, M/s.Unique Line (appellant) and also forfeiture of security deposit made by the customer broker. Hence the present appeal. 3. Ld. Advocate appearing for the appellant submitted that they have filed Bill of Entry on behalf of the importer M/s.Odyssey Impex for import of 'woven dyed fabrics'. The importer was arrested on the ground that imported goods attract .....

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. He produced copy of OIO dt. 16.5.2012 passed by Addl. Commissioner of Customs (DEPB) and submits in the above case that no proceedings were initiated against the appellant under Customs Act. He submits that CHA licence was suspended on 16.8.2011 and after suspension, enquiry report was submitted on 24.7.2012 after which the OIO passed by the Additional Commissioner against the importer. Their plea that there was no proceedings against the importer under Customs Act on ADD was not considered by .....

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rfeiture of security deposit does not arise. He relied following case laws :- (1) Thawerdas Wadhoomal Vs CC Mumbai 2008 (221) ELT 252 (Tri.-Mum.) (2) Setwin Shipping Agency Vs CC Mumbai 2010 (250)ELT 141 (Tri.-Mum.) (3) K.S.Sawant & Co. Vs CC Mumbai 2012 (284) ELT 363 (Tri.-Mum.) (4) Global Linkerz United Agencies Vs CC 2009 (239) ELT 76 (Tri.-Del.) (5) Ashiana Cargo Services Vs CC (I&G) 2014 (302) ELT 161 (Del.) (6) High Court s unreported order dt 12.7.2015 in the case of CC Vs A.M.Ahm .....

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provisions of the Act and (iv) he did not exercise due diligence to ascertain correctness of any information related to clearance of any cargo. He further submits that Mr. A.Prabhakaran, the sole proprietor and authorized signature in his voluntary statement clearly admitted that he signed the blank documents for import of the goods by the importer on the advice of persons Mr.Babu , Mr.Rajaguru of M/s.Dayspring Shipping Private Ltd. He also admitted that he used to obtain fixed amount for Bill .....

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e blank documents without knowing the identity of the importer. Appellant contended that proceedings against the importer were dropped and the importer was left out with only nominal penalty. On perusal of the OIO dt. 16.5.2012 submitted by appellant, we find that the in the said OIO, the SCN was issued to the importer for misdeclaration of the value and also for misdeclaration of the description there was no allegation in the SCN on any ADD. We find that there was no proceedings dropped by the .....

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s contention that entire proceedings have been dropped against the importer is not correct. Further, we find that as per the violation of CHALR, the sole proprietor of CHA himself had admitted that he signed blank documents, Bill of Entry without verifying the identification of the importer on the advice of persons of M/s.Dayspring Shipping Pvt. Ltd. and without obtaining authorisation from importer. We find that there is no allegation that appellant abetted or contravened any provision of Custo .....

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eme and harsh measure. The relevant paragraph of the Tribunal s order is reproduced as under:- "5.1 From the records, it is clear that the business in respect of the client M/s. Advanced Micronics Devices Ltd., was brought in by Shri Sunil Chitnis, who claims himself to be a sub-agent of the appellant CHA. The statements of Shri Badrinath and Shri Sunil Chitnis amply proves this fact. The question is, merely because the appellant procured the business through an intermediary who is not his .....

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Sharma v. Commissioner of Customs, New Delhi reported in 2000 (122) E.L.T. 581 (Tri.), this Tribunal held that the mere fact of bills raised on the intermediary cannot be held against the CHA firm to prove that the CHA licence was sub-let or transferred. Therefore, in the light of the judgments cited above, the charge of violation of Regulation 12 is not established. As regards the violation of Regulation 13(a), the adjudicating authority himself has observed that the I have no doubt to say that .....

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s the last charge, i.e. the appellant did not transact the business through his employee but through Shri Sunil Chitnis thereby violating the provisions of Regulation 13(b), there is some merit in the argument. Both Shri Sunil Chitnis and Shri Ashish Patekar, authorised signatory of the appellant CHA, has admitted that it was Shri Sunil Chitnis, who undertook the clearance work on behalf of the CHA. Mere signing of the documents does not prove that the clearances were undertaken by the appellant .....

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