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HLPL Global Logistics Pvt. Ltd Versus The Commissioner of Customs (General).

2016 (5) TMI 1238 - DELHI HIGH COURT

Period of limitation - Suspension of CB licence - Violation of Regulation 11 of CBLR 2013 - Imposition of penalty under Regulation 22 read with Regulation 20 of the CBLR 2013 - Held that:- the Court is unable to agree with the submission for the simple reason that the SCN dated 19th September 2015 was not issued under the CBLR 2013. Further, it was not issued to the Petitioner. By adding the name of the Petitioner to the said SCN dated 19th September 2015 issued under the CA by way of a corrigen .....

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etitioner not having been issued the SCN within ninety days of receipt of the offence report by the Customs, the SCN dated 2nd February 2016 issued to it by the Commissioner of Customs (General) is clearly unsustainable in law. The order dated 23rd March 2015 confirming the suspension of the Petitioner's CB licence cannot also be continued on account of the failure to issue the SCN and therefore complete the enquiry within the time limit specified in Regulation 20. Consequently the said order da .....

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transactions involving Chaman Lal & Sons and Shyama Corporation. What appears to have happened is that in drafting the suspension orders qua each of the 10 CHAs/CBs there has been a mix up of facts. This by itself is sufficient to show that there was a total non-application of mind to the facts involving the Petitioner as far as the decision to suspend its CB licence was concerned. Therefore, the suspension order is set aside. - Petition disposed of - W.P.(C) 1734/2016 & CM 7432/2016, W.P.(C) 21 .....

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ted 24th February 2015 and one dated 2nd May 2016 passed by the Commissioner of Customs (General) in exercise of the powers conferred under Regulation 19(1) of the Customs Brokers Licensing Regulations 2013 ( CBLR 2013 ). 2. The background facts are that the Petitioner was granted licence No. R-49/Del/Cus/2012 on 10th October 2012 by the Commissioner of Customs (I&G), New Delhi under Regulation 9(1) of the Customs House Agents Licensing Regulations 2004 ( CHALR 2004 ) to work as .....

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an offence report dated 16th February 2015 was received from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence ( DRI ) by the customs authorities on 18th February 2015 wherein nine CBs were found to have violated Regulation 11 of CBLR 2013. One of the nine CBs mentioned therein was the Petitioner. 4. On the basis of the offence report, the Petitioner s licence was suspended for the first time on 24th February 2015 invoking powers under Regulation 19(1) of the CBLR 2013. 5. A person .....

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> (1) The Commissioner of Customs shall issue a notice in writing to the Customs Broker within a period of ninety days from the date of receipt of an offence report, stating the grounds on which it is proposed to revoke the licence or impose penalty requiring the said Customs Broker to submit within thirty days to the Deputy Commissioner of Customs or Assistant Commissioner of Customs nominated by him, a written statement of defence and also to specify in the said statement whether the Customs B .....

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February 2016 to the exporters including M/s Saay Exim Pvt. Ltd. M/s Evolution export, A.A. Enterprises, M/s Jain Enterprises for violation of various provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 (CA). It is important to note that this SCN was not issued in terms of Regulation 20(1) of the CBLR 2013. In any event no SCN was issued to the Petitioner under CBLR 2013 within a period of ninety days from the receipt of the offence report from DRI. 8. It is now stated by Ms. Sonia Sharma, learned c .....

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vent, the said corrigendum if at all was only to the SCN under the CA. It cannot mean that by adding the name of the Petitioner by way of corrigendum dated 1st February 2016 to the SCN dated 19th September 2015, the date of SCN qua the Petitioner would relate back to the date of the SCN as initially issued i.e., 19th September 2015. 9. On 2nd February 2016, the impugned SCN was issued to the Petitioner under Regulation 20 of the CBLR 2013, requiring the Petitioner to show cause as to .....

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m issued on 1st February 2016 to the SCN dated 19th September 2015 issued under the CA, and therefore should be treated as having been issued on 19th September 2015 itself. 11. The Court is unable to agree with the above submission for the simple reason that the SCN dated 19th September 2015 was not issued under the CBLR 2013. Further, it was not issued to the Petitioner. By adding the name of the Petitioner to the said SCN dated 19th September 2015 issued under the CA by way of a cor .....

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5. 13. This Court in an order dated 12th May 2016 [Indair Carrier Pvt. Ltd. v. Commissioner of Customs (General)] emphasised the mandatory nature of the time limits specified under Regulation 22 (1) of the CHALR, 2004 which corresponds to Regulation 20 (1) of the CBLR 2013. The Court in paras 6 and 7 of the said order observed as under: 6.The time limits in the CHALR 2004 for issuance of the SCN to the CHA licence holder and completion of the inquiry within 90 days of iss .....

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a long time since it involves inquiry proceedings, and there is no time limit prescribed for completion of such proceedings. Hence, it has been decided by the Board to prescribe an overall time limit of nine months from the date of receipt of offence report, by prescribing time limits at various stages of Issue of Show Cause Notice, submission of inquiry report by the Deputy Commissioner of Customs or Assistant Commissioner of Customs recording his findings on the issue of suspension of CHA lice .....

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isions. These include the decision in Schankar Clearing & Forwarding v. C. C. (Import & General) 2012 (283) E.L.T. 349 (Del.), the order dated 25th April, 2016 passed by this Court in Customs Appeal No.14/2016 (Commissioner of Customs (General) v. S. K. Logistics) and the order dated 29th April, 2016 in W.P.(C) No. 3071/2015 (M/s Sunil Dutt v. Commissioner of Customs (General) New Customs House). The same position has been reiterated by the Madras High Court in Sanco Trans Ltd. v. Commis .....

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w. The order dated 23rd March 2015 confirming the suspension of the Petitioner's CB licence cannot also be continued on account of the failure to issue the SCN and therefore complete the enquiry within the time limit specified in Regulation 20. Consequently the said order dated 23rd March 2015 is hereby declared to be invalid and set aside on that basis. 15. Now turning to W.P.(C) No. 4397 of 2016, the facts of the case are that the offence report dated 28th March 2016 was receive .....

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f the said order dated 2nd May 2016 reveals that para 2 mentions the names of the above three parties and the fact that the licenses were issued to the said parties under the Vishesh Krishi & Gram Udyog Yojna by the Director General of Foreign Trade ( DGFT ); that the said licences were used by the said parties for payment of customs duties for the respective imports. It then sets out the names of 10 CBs including the Petitioner. 17. However, specific to the Petitioner in para 4 o .....

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onsignment of an importer namely M/s Universal Enterprises and in which they used the licenses of various IEC codes. Details of the same are given in the table of para 4 above. 18. It is rightly pointed out by learned counsel for the Petitioner that the name of M/s Universal Enterprises in respect of one B/E dated 7th June 2013 does not find mention in the table in para 4 of the said order dated 2nd May 2016. Therefore there is an obvious error in the impugned order. It is not clear .....

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