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M/s. Surana Corporation Ltd. Versus The Commissioner of Customs

2016 (8) TMI 395 - MADRAS HIGH COURT

Cross examination of witnesses - Seizure inspection SCN imposition of penalty request for cross examination of witnesses - Held that: - each case to be decided on the merit of the facts. While adjudicating the show cause notices, if the respondent propose to rely any of those statements, the petitioners should be given fair opportunity, because the show cause notices appear to be solely based upon the statements recorded from those three persons petitioner to reply to SCN opportunity .....

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appearing on either side, these writ petitions are taken up for final disposal. 2. The petitioner in W.P.No.23984 of 2015 is the Managing Director of M/s Surana Corporation Limited and the petitioners in W.P.Nos.23985 & 23986 of 2015 are the employees of the said Company. The petitioners have come forward with these Writ Petitions for quashing the order passed by the respondent dated 21.07.2015 and to direct the respondent to permit them to cross examine all the three witnesses namely Mr.Va .....

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of 2015, is the Managing Director. Based on the said statement, DRI caused an inspection on the business premises of M/s Surana Corporation Ltd., made further enquiries and statements were also recorded from their employees. Subsequently, show cause notices were issued to the petitioner in W.P.No.23984 of 2015, in the capacity of the Managing Director of the Company and to the petitioners in W.P.Nos.23985 and 23986 of 2015, who are employees of the said Company, calling upon them to show cause .....

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statements given by those three persons have been voluntarily based on evidence under section 108 of the Customs Act, 1962, the question of affording an opportunity to cross examine cannot be permitted. Subsequently, the petitioners sent letter through their Counsel, which came to be rejected by the impugned order. 4. In the impugned order, it has been stated that providing an opportunity to cross examination of witness is not mandatory and in support of such conclusion, the respondent referred .....

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xamine the three persons whose names have been mentioned above, on the grounds set out in the impugned order. 6. The decision in the case of KANUNGO & CO. (supra), arouse out of a Judgment of the Calcutta High Court, which reversed the decision of the Single Judge, who had quashed the order passed by the Additional Collector of Customs, Calcutta, confiscating 280 watches of the Appellant under section 167 (8) of Sea Customs Act read with section 3(2) of the Imports and Exports (Control) Act, .....

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ld have been recorded in the presence of the appellant or should be allowed to be cross examined by them on the statements made before the Customs Authorities, is not necessary and it would not amount to violation of principles of natural justice, if such opportunity is not granted. 7. However, it has to be noted that each case has to be decided on its peculiar facts. Admittedly, statements have been recorded by the respondent from those three persons under section 108 of the Customs Act, 1962 a .....

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