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Skylark Travels Pvt. Ltd. Versus Commissioner of Customs (General) , Mumbai

2016 (4) TMI 186 - CESTAT MUMBAI

Suspension of CHA licence - out of business for nearly 7.5 yrs - there have been delays at entry levels and during this process valuable right to livelihood of the applicant has been denied to them - Held that:- this process has taken almost four years. The issue regarding delays by the revenue impinging upon the fundamental right to livelihood of the CHA was raised. There is a total lack of responsibility and accountability on behalf of the revenue officers while conducting the proceedings unde .....

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)/94401/15, Appeal No. C/90058/14 - Order No. M/86739/16/CB - Dated:- 22-3-2016 - S. S. Garg, Member (J) And Raju, Member (T) For the Appellant : Shri. C Subba Reddy, Adv For the Respondent : Shri. D K Sinha, Asst. Comm. (AR) ORDER Per Raju 1. The appellants, M/s. Skylark Travels Pvt. Ltd. CHA licensee No.11/252 have been functioning as CHA since 1970. S.No Date Event 01 10/10/2008 DRI issues show-cause notice 02 17/10/2008 CHA licence placed under suspension 03 26/11/2008 Inquiry officer appoin .....

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t of the order of Tribunal approached the Commissioner by a letter dated 21/05/2015 and made personal visit to the office of the Commissioner and they had requested for implementation of the order of the Tribunal. No response received. In view of the above, the applicant is before the Tribunal. The applicant's licence was suspended on 17/10/2008 and he has been out of business for nearly 7 ½ years. 3. Revenue has contended that they have filed an appeal before the Hon'ble High Cou .....

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The order under challenge (the main order of the Tribunal) is dated 31st July, 2013. That Allows the Appeal of the Respondent M/s. The West End Shipping Agency. The Tribunal's order therefore set aside the orderinoriginal , by which, the Customs House Agent Licence of the Respondent was revoked and security deposit made by it was forfeited. The Tribunal's order has not been implemented. 6. The Tribunal has passed an order in the present case on the Miscellaneous Application on 8th Septe .....

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is Court. The Tribunal therefore should not have passed such an order and visiting the party with contempt proceedings for failure to implement it. 4. It is seen that the order of the Tribunal has been passed considering the fact that the applicant has been out of business for more than six years and therefore, the punishment was deemed to be sufficient for the offences committed. Therefore, till the time the licence is not restored, the applicant continues to undergo punishment on this count. T .....

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or otherwise of their conclusion or of any factual mala fides but with the fact that the officers, in reaching their conclusion, by-passed two appellate orders in regard to the same issue which were placed before them, one of the Collector (Appeals) and the other of the Tribunal. The High Court has, in our view, rightly criticized this conduct of the Assistant Collectors and the harassment to the assessee caused by the failure of these officers to give effect to the orders of authorities higher .....

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l. The principles of judicial discipline require that the orders of the higher appellate authorities should be followed unreservedly by the subordinate authorities. The mere fact that the order of the appellate authority is not acceptable to the department - in itself an objectionable phrase - and is the subject-matter of an appeal can furnish no ground for not following it unless its operation has been suspended by a competent Court. If this healthy rule is not followed, the result will only be .....

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as found that the Commissioner has not taken into consideration any of the evidence that had come to the record during the course of proceedings and had not given detailed findings about the inquiry proceedings in the impugned order. Thus resulted in remand of the order. It can be seen that there have been delays at entry levels and during this process valuable right to livelihood of the applicant has been denied to them. It is seen that a CHALR 2004 did not provide for any time limit to be foll .....

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ory for the inquiry officers to submit his report within 90 days from the date of issue of notice under sub-regulation (1). Sub-regulation (7) of Regulation 22 was also amended requiring the Commissioner to pass order within 90 days from the date of submission of the report by the inquiry officer. It is seen that at the material time in 2008 there were no such time limit. However, when the inquiry report was submitted the time limits were already present in the law. The new CHALR 2013 notified b .....

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ithin 90 days from the submission of report of inquiry was maintained under sub-regulation (7) of Regulation 20. Thus it is accepted that within 180 days of the suspension of licence and within 270 days of the receipt of the offence report, the proceedings would be over and final decision will be given by the Commissioner. In the instant case, this process has taken almost four years. The issue regarding delays by the revenue impinging upon the fundamental right to livelihood of the CHA was rais .....

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e reasons for such delays. However, we are sad to observe that the said data has not been submitted till date. 9#. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Olga Tellis & Ors vs Bombay Municipal Corporation, 1986 AIR 180 , has observed as follows The argument which bears on the provisions of Article 21 is elaborated by saying that the eviction of pavement and slum dweller will lead, in a vicious circle, to the deprivation of their employment, their livelihood and, therefore, to the right .....

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deprived of his job as a result of his eviction from a slum or a pavement, his very right to life is put in jeopardy. It is urged that the economic compulsions under which these persons are forced to live in slums or on pavements impart to their occupation the character of a fundamental right. 10#. There is no responsibility or accountability in the conduct of revenue. The revenue neither follows the time limits prescribed under law nor follows the order of the higher forums, despite the direct .....

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