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2015 (12) TMI 1387 - CESTAT NEW DELHI

2015 (12) TMI 1387 - CESTAT NEW DELHI - TMI - Revocation of CHA License - Misdeclaration of goods - goods were grossly mis-declared in respect of quantity, quality, value and weight etc. and the intention was obviously to defraud the Government by availing of inadmissible drawback amount - Held that:- Apart from goods being mis-declared in description and value, even the weight was much less than the weight declared. In respect of one Shipping Bill, the actual weight was only about 3800 kgs. whi .....

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ustoms House Agent with utmost speed and efficiency and without avoidable delay. In the present case, it is evident that the appellant had not obtained any authorisation from M/s H.M. Impex, a firm which was non-existent at the address given in the IE Code and whose proprietor (as mentioned in the IE Code) never contacted the appellant. The appellant filed documents in the name of a nonexistent firm without any verification whatsoever. The documents filed by CHA are treated with a certain degree .....

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nts were filed. Such dereliction of duty on the part of a CHA, can potentially have even graver financial/security consequences. Thus the appellant totally failed to discharge its duties as CHA with utmost speed and efficiency and thereby grossly violated Rule 13 of CHALR, 2004. Such serious violation on the part of the CHA can hardly deserve any condonation or leniency. CESTAT judgement in the case of Pranil Shipping cited by the appellant is hardly applicable to the present case because in tha .....

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in exercise of the powers conferred upon him under Regulation 22 of the Customs House Agents Licensing Regulations, (CHALR) 2004 and also security amount of Rs. one lakh was forfeited under Regulation 20(1) of CHALR, 2004. 2. The appellant CHA had filed two Shipping Bills No. 1287830 and No. 12288039 both dated 17.6.2003 in the name of M/s HM. Impex for readymade garments involving drawback claim of about ₹ 34 lakhs. However, on examination of the goods declared in the shipping bills, the .....

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t of over ₹ 34 lakhs. The investigations revealed that M/s H.M. Impex, WZ-156, Madipur, New Delhi- 110 063 (with Shri Rajiv Kumar mentioned as its proprietor in the IE code) was fictitious and did not exist at the given address. It also came out during investigation that Shri Lalit Kumar Katoch, employee of the CHA attended the work relating to filing of papers and examination of goods etc. Shri Sunil Bhatia, proprietor of CHA admitted that it (i.e. the appellant) filed the said two shippi .....

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of the appellant in gross violation of the CHALR, 2004 and revoked its CHA license and forfeited the security deposit. 3. The appellant has contended that its proprietor was not aware of the nature of goods and had no knowledge about the mis-declaration and the fraud attempted to be committed in connivance of Shri Lalit Kumar Katoch and that on the particular date the shipping bills were filed, he (i.e. the proprietor) was out of station. It also contended that revocation of licence is too harsh .....

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ere being filed and still its proprietor Shri Bhatia did not take any precaution nor did he ensure due diligence as expected and required of a CHA and therefore the impugned order was legal and proper. The ld. DR cited the judgement of Bombay High Court in the case of CC (General) Vs. Worldwide Cargo Movers - 2010 (253) ELT 190 (Bom.) and CC, Hyderabad-ll Vs. H.B. Cargo Services - 2011 (268) ELT 448 (AP) in support of his contention. 5. We have considered the contentions of both sides. It is a f .....

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n ₹ 34 lakhs. As was revealed during investigation, the person who approached the appellant's employee, Shri Katoch brought hand- written invoices which were typed in the appellant's office itself. Also Shri Katoch did not keep the appellant's proprietor in the dark and he contacted the proprietor on phone who (i.e. the proprietor) gave his go ahead. Such high value consignments would alert any CHA with regard to the need for due diligence and compliance with know-your-customer .....

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e Custom House Agent is inter alia required to obtain authorisation from each of the companies/firms by whom he was being employed, ensure that all documents, such as bills of entry and shipping bills delivered in the Customs Station by him show the name of the importer or exporter, as the case may be, and also ensure that he discharges his duties as Customs House Agent with utmost speed and efficiency and without avoidable delay. In the present case, it is evident that the appellant had not obt .....

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CHA than to file Shipping Bills of such high value in the name of a non-existent firm without making even preliminary enquiries about the genuineness of firm/company in the name of which the documents were filed. Such dereliction of duty on the part of a CHA, can potentially have even graver financial/security consequences. Thus the appellant totally failed to discharge its duties as CHA with utmost speed and efficiency and thereby grossly violated Rule 13 of CHALR, 2004. Such serious violation .....

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d in the impugned order. In our view, the finding given by the Enquiring Officer and thereafter the order passed by the appellant in original are fully justified on the facts of the case. The authorities relied upon by Mr. Kantawala undoubtedly are mostly of the Tribunal. Even the judgment of the Calcutta High Court speaks about the suspension of licence not to be continued indefinitely. Here, we are concerned with revocation which has been resorted to after a due enquiry. We are conscious that .....

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where the CHA had failed to discharge his obligation to exercise proper supervision. In the case of Sri Kamakshi Agency (supra), the CHA was held responsible for the fraudulent activities of a third party whom it had delegated its functions . That was also left undisturbed by the Supreme Court. The present case is some what similar to one of Sri Kamakshi Agency, if not worse. Here, the CHA has brazenly defended his Regulation 8 employee who gave a fake name of his brother as an importer for unde .....

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ified from material on record-Once both these aspects are satisfied if an outsider Tribunal interferes, its findings and order will be improper and perverse which is what has happened in the present case. Similarly when one comes to the disciplinary measures, one must not lose sight of the fact that the appellant-Commissioner of Customs is responsible for happenings in the Customs area and for the discipline to be maintained over there. If he takes a decision necessary for that purpose, the Trib .....

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of the CHA licence in the facts and circumstances of the case and on the material on record. The order of the CESTAT setting aside the order of the appellant-Commissioner of Customs was clearly perverse in law. Appeal No. 37 of 2006 is, therefore, allowed. The order dated 4-4-2006 passed by the CESTAT is set aside and the order dated 17-1-2006 passed by the appellant-Commissioner of Customs is restored". The ratio contained in the above reproduced paras (specially in para 28) of the High C .....

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