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M/s. Karan Traders, M/s. Obli Spinning Mills (P) Ltd. Versus The Joint Commissioner of Central Excise

2016 (7) TMI 870 - MADRAS HIGH COURT

Demand of duty - seeking permission to cross-examine two of the persons from whom statements have been recorded, which appears to be the basis for issuance of the show cause notice dated 02.01.2007 - violation of principles of natural justice - whether the authority could have proceeded to adjudicate the matter and pass the final order, without acceding to the request made by the petitioners for cross-examination of two of the persons, from whom statements were recorded by the department. - .....

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ose witnesses. - The writ petitions are allowed and the impugned order is set aside and the matter is remanded to the respondent for fresh consideration and fresh adjudication shall be made by a different officer, as observed supra and while doing so, the statements recorded from V.Kumaraswamy and S.Padmanabhan shall be eschewed. The petitioners shall appear before the adjudicating authority and co-operate in the adjudicating proceedings by advancing oral and written submissions. - W.P.Nos.1 .....

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the Joint Commissioner, dated 29.12.2015. For the purpose of disposal of all these writ petitions, W.P.No.12520 of 2016 is taken up to lead the case. 3. The short issue which falls for consideration is as to whether the respondent/adjudicating officer could have proceeded to conclude the proceedings and pass an order in Original, without affording an opportunity to the petitioners to cross-examine two of the persons from whom statements have been recorded, which appears to be the basis for issua .....

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rom the operative portion of the order, at paragraph No.7, which would run thus: "7. Thus, it is felt that the appellants had been deprived of the opportunity of defending their case properly, during the course of the adjudication proceedings. In view of the above hit is felt that this is a fit case for de novo consideration by the Lower Authority after supplying the appellants with all the relied upon documents and another opportunity of personal hearing to defend their case including cros .....

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to be given an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses, as requested by them and this having not been done, the order requires to be interfered and the matter has to be remitted for denovo consideration. On such remand, the matter has been taken up by the Joint Commissioner, Salem, who has adjudicated the matter. 5. The only issue which falls for consideration in these writ petitions is as to whether the authority could have proceeded to adjudicate the matter and pass the final order, withou .....

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judicate the matter by recording that the Consultant, who appeared on behalf of the petitioners, had not pressed for cross-examination of the other witnesses. This according to the petitioners is factually an incorrect statement, as the petitioners wanted to cross-examine those two witnesses, since the quantification made in the show cause notice was on the basis of the statements recorded from those witnesses. 7. Since a factual dispute was involved in the matter, the respondent was directed to .....

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y has received the summons and did not turn up for cross-examination. But the summons sent to Padmanabhan has returned as unserved on the ground that no such person was residing in the address mentioned in the summons. Thus, the respondent department was unable to produce those two persons for cross-examination. If that be the case, then the statements recorded from them should have been eschewed by the adjudicating authority and thereafter, the adjudicating officer ought to have proceeded with .....

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