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M/s. NGA Steels (P) Ltd. Versus The Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, The Commissioner of Central Excise

2016 (7) TMI 127 - MADRAS HIGH COURT

Clandestine removal of goods - violation of principles of natural justice in not permitting the appellant to cross examine the persons from whom statements were recorded - Held that:- After going through the impugned order made in appeal No.E/40772/2014 dated 02.11.2015 of the CESTAT, Chennai, we find that the plea regarding violation of principles of natural justice, in not permitting the appellant to cross examine the persons from whom statements were recorded / witnesses, has not been dealt w .....

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Sundareswaran JUDGMENT [ Judgment of the Court was made by S. Manikumar, J. ] Instant appeal is filed against the order dated 02.11.2015 passed by the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal [CESTAT], Chennai in Appeal No.E/40772/2014-SM, arising out of an order in Appeal No.91/2014 dated 13.02.2014 passed by the Commissioner of Central Excise (Appeals), Salem between NGA Steels Private Limited and Commissioner of Central Excise, Salem. 2. Material on record discloses that being aggr .....

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discharged by the department, the Commissioner of Central Excise (Appeals), the appellate authority, vide order in in Appeal No.SLM-CEX-000-APP 33/2011 dated 18.05.2011, rejected the same. 4. Being aggrieved by the order of the appellate authority, appellant has moved CESTAT in Appeal Nos.E/371/2011 and E/413/2011. After considering the submission of the appellant that there was a denial of opportunity to cross examine and by observing that both sides are aggrieved by the order in Appeal No.SLM- .....

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ate authority has recorded as hereunder. "08. The appellant have also argued that cross examination was not allowed. In this regard, it is observed that right to cross-examination is not an absolute right and the question whether the appellant was entitled to cross-examination is a question which may largely depend on the facts of the case. The Allahabad High Court [1993 (68) E.L.T. 548 (All)] has held that "Moreover, the right to cross-examination is not an absolute right. The questio .....

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ing the petitioner to deposit a sum of ₹ 80,000/- and thus granting the application of the petitioner for stay-cum-waiver in part." Hence, the adjudicator can take a decision on requests for cross-examination which may largely depend on the facts of the case and circumstances of each case and there is no infirmity in the order of the adjudicator in this regard. 6. Being aggrieved by the order-in-Appeal No.91/2014 dated 13.02.2014, passed by the Commissioner of Central Excise (Appeals) .....

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the appellate authority ought to have allowed cross examination to unravel the truth. Reliance has also been placed on the decision reported in 2009 (248) ELT 497 (Tri.Ahamadabad). 7. After adverting to the grounds of appeal, the CESTAT, Chennai, passed an order dated 02.11.2015 in Appeal No.E/40772/2014 confirming the demand of ₹ 8,80,037/- with the concessional penalty and interest to follow. There is also a limited remand in respect of duty demand of ₹ 4,57,228/-. 8. Being aggrie .....

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ity consumption? B. Whether the Tribunal is justified in passing the final order without discussing or without giving a finding on the specific plea raised in the grounds of appeal that cross examination of persons who gave statements against the appellant and which were relied on by the Dept. is mandatory? C. Whether the documents maintained by third parties and statements alsone constitute sufficient evidence to come to the conclusion of clandestine removal of goods without payment of duty wit .....

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