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M. Rathakrishnan, D. Muralidharan Versus Additional Director General Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, The Commissioner of Customs

2016 (3) TMI 770 - MADRAS HIGH COURT

Writ petition - Validity of show cause notice - Issued with pre-judged mind - Held that:- by following the judgment of Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Oryx Fisheris Private Limited v. Union of India [2010 (10) TMI 660 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA], being a quasi-judicial authority, while, acting in exercise of its statutory power, must act fairly and must act with an open mind, while initiating show cause proceeding. When the first respondent had issued the show cause notices with pre-judged mi .....

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ated:- 18-2-2016 - M. Duraiswamy, J. For the Petitioners : Mr. Hari Radhakrishnan For the Respondents : Mr. T. Chandrasekaran ORDER The petitioners have filed the above writ petitions to issue a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus to call for the records pertaining to the impugned show cause notices dated 08.05.2015 issued by the first respondent and to quash the same. 2. The first respondent issued the show cause notices dated 08.05.2015 calling upon the petitioners to show cause as to why penalty .....

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ed against. 5. Mr.Hari Radhakrishnan, learned counsel appearing for the petitioners relied upon paragraph Nos. 24 and 31 of the show cause notices dated 08.05.2015 wherein, the first respondent has stated as follows:- 24.As per para 23 supra the reasoning advanced by the importer is contrary to what has been stated by the CHA/s Cs. Hence it can be concluded that to clear the imported consignment by mis-declaration of description coupled with undervaluation,l port-hopping has been resorted to by .....

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ZU-DRI. ... Further, in the same paragraph it has been stated as follows: - ... Their accomplices in this arrangement were S/Shri M.Rathakrishnan and D.Muralidharan, who actively connived with and were instrumental in getting the impugned electrical operated power tools illegally imported by wilful mis-declaration of the value of the imported goods and its description by not declaring the actual quantity, brand and cleared the same. ... on a reading of the contents of paragraph Nos. 24 and 31 of .....

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nion of India], wherein, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held as follows:- 22. Relying on the underlined portions in the show cause notice, learned counsel for the appellant urged that even at the stage of the show cause notice the third respondent has completely made up his mind and reached definite conclusion about the alleged guilt of the appellant. This has rendered the subsequent proceedings an empty ritual and an idle formality. 23. This Court finds that there is a lot of substance in the af .....

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t is to be read reasonably. But one thing is clear that while reading a show-cause notice the person who is subject to it must get an impression that he will get an effective opportunity to rebut the allegations contained in the show cause notice and prove his innocence. If on a reasonable reading of a show-cause notice a person of ordinary prudence gets the feeling that his reply to the show cause notice will be an empty ceremony and he will merely knock his head against the impenetrable wall o .....

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er to take a punitive step against the person after giving him a show cause notice. 44. For the reasons aforesaid, this Court quashes the show cause notice as also the order dated 19.03.2008 passed by the third respondent. In view of that, the appellate order has no legs to stand and accordingly is quashed. 45. We are constrained to observe that unfortunately this aspect of the matter was not considered by the High Court. We cannot, therefore, approve the order of the High Court and the same is .....

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