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2016 (7) TMI 1060 - DELHI HIGH COURT

2016 (7) TMI 1060 - DELHI HIGH COURT - 2016 (340) E.L.T. 119 (Del.) - Revocation of the Customs House Agent (CHA) license - on examination it was noticed that it was an attempt at showing exports for claiming fraudulent drawback. - Period of limitation - Held that:- The SCN dated 14th October 2011 that was issued to the Appellant is the same SCN that was issued to M/s. S.K. Logistics, M/s. Sunil Dutt and M/s. Entire Logistics Pvt. Ltd. The offence report is the same for all the said noticees. It .....

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disputed that the inquiry report was submitted only on 16th January 2015 more than three years after the SCN dated 14th October 2011 was issued. - This Court has consistently emphasised the mandatory nature of the aforementioned time limits in several of its decisions. - The impugned order dated 10th April 2015 passed by the Commissioner of Customs (General), Delhi revoking the CHA license of the Appellant to be unsustainable in law. - Decided in favor of CHA - CUSAA 8/2016 & CM 4292/20 .....

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der dated 10th April 2015 passed by the Commissioner of Customs (General), Delhi revoking the Customs House Agent (CHA) license of the Appellant. 2. The background facts are that a special investigation was conducted by the Customs Special Investigating Branch (SIIB) on 12th January, 2010 wherein 17 shipping bills pertaining to five exporters namely M/s Satkar Exports, M/s. Ideal Exports, M/s Varun Garments, M/s Reliable Overseas and M/s. Real Exports, filed by CHA M/s Sunil Dutt were intercepte .....

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e the addresses of the exporters failed. The addresses disclosed were found to be fictitious. Also, the CHA M/s. Sunil Dutt failed to produce any of the exporters. 3. When the details of the previous exports in relation to the aforementioned five firms were taken out of the EDI system, it was noticed that three earlier shipping bills dated 13th August 2009 of M/s Reliable Overseas had been filed by the Appellant. On the ground that there was an attempt at showing export for the purpose of fraudu .....

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2011 another SCN was issued to the Appellant under the Custom House Agents Licensing Regulations, 2004 ( CHALR, 2004 ) asking the Appellant to show cause why the CHA license issued to it under Regulation 20 of CHALR, 2004 should not be revoked and why the entire security deposit made by the Appellant should not be forfeited. 6. The Appellant submitted a reply to the second SCN on 10th November 2011. For a period of more than three years thereafter no proceedings took place. The Appellant states .....

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th January 2015 and this was forwarded to the Appellant by the Assistant Commissioner of Customs (Policy) by a letter dated 23rd January 2015. The Inquiry Officer held the Appellant to be liable for penalty for violation of Regulations 13(a), 13(d), 13(e) & 13(o) of CHALR, 2004 read with the corresponding provisions of the CBLR 2013. 8. The Appellant submitted his comments to the Inquiry Officer inter alia reiterating that the mandatory time limits under Regulation 22 of CHALR, 2004 had not .....

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l of the impugned order reveals that the CESTAT proceeded on the basis of the seriousness of the violation. It observed: "Having regard to the blatant and serious violation of the CHALR 2004 as mentioned above, it cannot be said that the penalty awarded is unreasonable and revocation imposed by the Commissioner is arbitrary or unreasonable....." 12. Although the CESTAT noted the submission of the Appellant regarding mandatory nature of the time limits under CHALR 2004, in paragraph 3 o .....

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roprietor v. Commissioner of Customs (General), New Customs House]; (ii) Order dated 12th May 2016 in CUSAA 25/2015 [Indair Carrier Pvt. Ltd. v. Commissioner of Customs (General)]; (iii) Order dated 24th May 2016 in WP(C) No. 1734 of 2016 [HLPL Global Logistics Pvt. Ltd. v. The Commissioner of Customs (General)]; (iv) Order dated 1st June 2016 in WP(C) No. 5300 of 2016 [Impexnet Logistic v. Commissioner of Customs (General)]. 14. In order dated 25th April 2016 in CUSAA 14/2016 (Commissioner of C .....

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t for completion of the inquiry in terms of Regulation 22 (5) of the CHALR 2004 had not be adhered to. 15. The SCN dated 14th October 2011 that was issued to the Appellant is the same SCN that was issued to M/s. S.K. Logistics, M/s. Sunil Dutt and M/s. Entire Logistics Pvt. Ltd. The offence report is the same for all the said noticees. It was received on 19th May 2011. In terms of Regulation 22 (1) of the CHALR 2004 (which corresponds to Regulation 20 (1) of the CBLR 2013), the SCN had to be iss .....

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arrier Pvt. Ltd. v. Commissioner of Customs (General) (supra) the Court emphasised the mandatory nature of the CHALR as regards the time limits 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 issuance of such SCN are sacrosanct. The aforesaid time limits were engrafted into Regulation 22 of the CHALR, 2004 by a Notification No. 30/2010-Cus.(N.T.) : dated 8th April, 2010. Simultaneously, the CBEC issu .....

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