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M/s Autolite India Ltd. Versus CCE, Jaipur-I

2016 (6) TMI 73 - CESTAT NEW DELHI

Confiscation of goods and imposition of penalty - Clandestine removal of goods - Empty trucks coming in the factory premises are not entered in the register - Auto Head Lamps and Halogen Bulbs seized had been labelled as having been manufactured in Pant Nagar and there was no evidence that the same were brought from Pant Nagar - Held that:- appellant indulged in modus operandi of manufacturing goods at Jaipur and put labels to show their manufacture by Pant Nagar unit to evade payment of duty. S .....

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cation. The said trucks drivers could not have colluded in this modus operandi in the manner aforesaid without the consent and knowledge of the transport company and therefore the transport company is also liable to penalty along with the drivers.

Therefore, it is found that the case is established against the appellants at least on the yardstick of preponderance probability. Revenue is not required to prove its case with mathematical precision specially in cases involving deliberate .....

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8377; 27,64,598/-(Rs. 15,12,602/- seized on floor, ₹ 6,83,52/-(MRP) and ₹ 5,68,644/- (MRP) seized in the trucks) seized in the factory premises of M/s. Autolite India Limited, D-469, Road No. 9A, VKI Area, Jaipur under Rule 25 of the Central Excise Rules, 2002. Since the goods have already been released provisionally, I impose redemption fine of ₹ 7,00,000/- (Rs. Seven lac only) in lieu of confiscation of the said goods under Section 34 of the Central Excise Act, 1944. If the r .....

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5-C 0507 and HR 38 K-5218 under Section 115 of the Customs Act, 1962 as applicable under Section 12 of the Central Excise Act, 1944 vide Notification No. 68/63 CE dated 4.5.1963. Since the trucks have already been released provisionally, I impose redemption fine of ₹ 2,00,000/- on each truck (Rs. Two lac on each truck) in lieu of confiscation of the said trucks under Section 34 of the Central Excise Act, 1944. If the redemption fine is not paid within 90 days of the receipt of this order, .....

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2002. (vi) I impose a penalty of ₹ 5,00,000/- (Rs. Five lac only) on Shri Naresh Kumar Gupta, Chief Manager of M/s Autolite India Limited, Jaipur (Manufacturing & Trading Division) under Rule 26 (1) of the Central Excise Rules, 2002. (vii) I drop the remaining allegations levelled in the show cause notice as they do not sustain. 2. The facts of the case are as under: Based on information, the factory premises of M/s Autolite India Limited at Jaipur were raided and during search, two tr .....

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se empty trucks entries are not made. During the search of the factory Auto Head Lamps and Halogen Bulbs valued at ₹ 15,12,602/- packed in boxes showing Pant Nagar unit as manufacturer were also found lying on the floor. These goods lying on the floor (along with head lamps loaded in the two trucks valued at ₹ 6,83,352/- and ₹ 5,68,644/-) totally valued at ₹ 27,64,598/- which were seized, were ordered to be confiscated and penalties imposed as per the impugned order repro .....

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umar Gupta, Chief Manager, (Excise and Dispatch) of appellant are in the appellants favour and are corroborated by Transit Declaration Form of the department of commercial taxes, Govt. of U.P. (4) Particulars of invoices were attached with reply to the show cause notice with respect to goods found lying at the appellant s premises. (5) There are no inculpatory statements of anyone. If the impugned goods were actually manufactured in Jaipur, then some loose production and unused packing material .....

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all the group companies for their benefit due to economy of scale (8) No enquiry with the buyers w.r.t past clearances was made. (9) There was no intention to evade payment of duty inasmuch as the appellant was having a fully functional unit working under Area Based Exemption at Pant Nagar and therefore there was no reason for it to indulge in such illegal activities. (10) It was admitted in the SCN and accepted by the Commissioner that Halogen Bulbs were not manufactured by the appellant but s .....

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done by them. (13) The trucks are not liable to confiscation as the transporters were not aware that the goods loaded therein were liable to confiscation. 4. Ld. DR, on the other hand contended that the truck drivers of the trucks on which the impugned goods were loaded could not give any evidence of bringing the trucks from Pant nagar. The security guard of the factory stated that empty trucks coming in the factory premises are not entered in the register. There is no dispute that the goods se .....

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scated had been labelled to show/claim that they were manufactured by the appellant at its Pant Nagar unit. Two trucks which were loaded with the impugned goods did not have any entry in the gate register of Jaipur factory showing that they entered the factory and the security guard of the factory clearly stated that no entry is made when empty trucks entered the factory. It shows that at the time of entry in the factory, these trucks were empty. The statements of the drivers of these two trucks .....

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early shows that the trucks had not come from Pant Nagar. As a matter of fact, one of the drivers in his statement even claimed that he got the diesel filled at Dharuhera and Gurgaon but he did not possess the bills and that he did not possess the receipt of toll tax as he torn them on the way. It defies credibility that a driver would tear the toll receipts which are also required for accountal by transport agency/truck owners. Further the distance between Gurgaon and Dharuhera is hardly 50 km .....

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e factory when the goods were to be unloaded at the godown. To claim that it was done for safety reasons is too farfetched to believe because it was in the day time when they reached there. It is also seen that while one of the truck drivers Shri Kailash Dan Claimed that he arrived at Jaipur on 19.3.2012 at 8.00 AM and finding the godown closed brought the goods to the factory for security reasons, the security officer Shri Rattan Singh averred that he arrived at the factory premises on 18.3.201 .....

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entered in relevant records. No such entry in the records was made. Also some of the impugned goods were lying on the floor with stickers showing M/s AML Pant Nagar as manufacturer. If AML Pant Nagar was the real manufacturer these goods could not have been lying on the floor of the appellant s factory at Jaipur. The appellant has not been able to give any plausible and acceptable explanation therefor. At this point it is pertinent to mention that the goods manufactured at Pant Nagar and at Jai .....

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conclusion that the drivers claim that the two trucks came from Pant Nagar is nothing more than cock and bull story and the trucks entered the factory empty. The transit declaration from etc. submitted by the appellant are its own documents and do not in any way dilute the foregoing analysis of available evidence. 6. It is thus clear that the appellant indulged in modus operandi of manufacturing goods at Jaipur and put labels to show their manufacture by Pant Nagar unit to evade payment of duty. .....

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nfiscation. The said trucks drivers could not have colluded in this modus operandi in the manner aforesaid without the consent and knowledge of the transport company and therefore the transport company is also liable to penalty along with the drivers. 6. In the light of the foregoing analysis, I find that the case is established against the appellants at least on the yardstick of preponderance probability. Revenue is not required to prove its case with mathematical precision specially in cases i .....

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