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Shri. Srijith C. Versus The Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, The Commissioner of Customs (Seaport-Export)

Condonation of delay in filing an appeal before tribunal - Export of prohibited goods - The goods were declared as Indian Artistic Wooden Handicrafts , but on interception by Intelligence, the container was found to contain red sander wood logs - Held that:- The fact remains that the summons from the Criminal Court could not be served on the appellant, as he left the services of the erstwhile employer, and only after issuance of the Non-Bailable Warrant (NBW), the appellant has appeared before t .....

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rt. Therefore, the CESTAT should have condoned the delay and should have given an opportunity to the appellant, to contest the case, on merits - Matter remanded back to tribunal. - Civil Miscellaneous Appeal No. 2735 of 2015 - Dated:- 7-1-2016 - M. Jaichandren And S. Vimala, JJ. For the Appellant : Mr. S. Murugappan For the Respondents : Mr. T. Chandrasekaran, for R-2 Tribunal, R-1 JUDGMENT ( Judgment of the Court was delivered by S. Vimala, J. ) This Civil Miscellaneous Appeal has been filed by .....

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ugust 2008. 2.1. M/s. Glow Freight Logistics, a registered Customs House Agent (CHA), filed a Shipping Bill, dated 25.10.2006, on behalf of M/s. Rare Crafts Overseas, Bangalore, for the export of goods. The goods were declared as Indian Artistic Wooden Handicrafts , but on interception by Intelligence, the container was found to contain red sander wood logs, which was an item prohibited for export under the Act read with Export and Import (EXIM) Policy. 2.3. It was the allegation of the responde .....

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the Act, upon the appellant. 2.4. The appellant filed an appeal before the CESTAT / the first respondent herein with an application to condone the delay of 217 days. The Tribunal dismissed the same, by the order, dated 26.06.2015 and aggrieved over the same, the appellant is before this Court, raising the following subtantial questions of law:- 1. Whether it is legal and proper for the first respondent Tribunal to dismiss the application for condonation of delay without any appreciation of the s .....

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rials placed by the appellant is brought under challenge before this Court. 4. It was the case of the appellant that he was not aware of the order passed by the adjudicating authority, as he left the services of his erstwhile employer, M/s.International Logistics Freight Forwarders, Bangalore, and that he came to know about the order when there was a prosecution launched and that was the reason for the delay in filing the appeal. 4.1. It is the grievance of the appellant that the CESTAT dismisse .....

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ause prosecution has been launched by the Department, appellant tries to keep the matter alive before Tribunal for no good reason. .... 5. Whether the reasons stated by the CESTAT is sufficient in the eye of law to dismiss the application for condonation of delay is the issue canvassed before this Court. 6. The learned counsel for the appellant submitted that, despite the submissions made on facts and law by the appellant, they were not at all considered and discussed by the CESTAT and that the .....

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n opportunity must be given to the appellant to contest the case on merits before the CESTAT. 7. The learned counsel for the second respondent would submit that the delay was willful and therefore, rightly the CESTAT has dismissed the Application to condone the delay. 7.1. This submission cannot be accepted, as there is no material to come to the conclusion that the delay in approaching the CESTAT was willful. The fact remains that the summons from the Criminal Court could not be served on the a .....

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ation of delay must be true. 8. In any event, the delay is only 217 days, and the reasons for the delay have been convincingly explained before this Court. Therefore, the CESTAT should have condoned the delay and should have given an opportunity to the appellant, to contest the case, on merits, especially considering the dictum laid down in the following cases, relied upon by the learned counsel for the appellant:- (i) United Telecom v. Commissioner reported in 2011-TIOL-678-HC-Kar-Cus. ... The .....

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l advance the cause of justice.... (iii) Collector Land Acquisition, Anantnag and another v. MST Katiji and Others, reported in 1987 (28) ELT 185 (SC):- The Courts, therefore, have to be informed with the spirit and philosophy of the provision in the course of the interpretation of the expression 'sufficient cause'. So also the same approach has to be evidenced in its application to matters at hand with the end in view to do even handed justice on merits in preference to the approach whi .....

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