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2016 (11) TMI 815 - CESTAT CHANDIGARH

2016 (11) TMI 815 - CESTAT CHANDIGARH - TMI - Imposition of penalty u/s 112 of the Customs Act, 1962 - clandestine removal of goods - forgery of signatures of CHA on the bills of entry - Held that: - As the appellant ran away from the investigation and has not cooperated during the course of investigation which shows that the conduct of the appellant that the appellant was involved in the committing fraud. Therefore, the provisions of section 111 (d) and 111 (o) of the Customs Act, 1962 are appl .....

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ed:- 7-10-2016 - Mr. Ashok Jindal, Member (J) for the Appellant: Sh. Naveen Bindal, Advocate for the Respondent: Shri Harvinder Singh, AR PER: ASHOK JINDAL The appellant has filed nine appeals against the impugned orders wherein the penalties imposed on the appellant under section 112 of the Customs Act, 1962. 2. The facts of the case are that various importers had presented bills of entry through CHA namely, M/s.Unison Clearing (P) Ltd. having his office at Ludhiana holding CHA licence and M/s. .....

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scrips on the face of the bills of entry. It came to the notice of the department later that the signatures of the Customs Officer on the impugned bills of entry had been forged and the said imported goods had been cleared without payment of customs duties. The investigations further established that the amount of duty purportedly debited under DEPB had actually not been debited; that importers were never in possession of those DEPB scrip; that importers through their agents i.e. M/s.Unison Cle .....

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to rely upon unauthorised persons for their customs clearance, made payments against customs clearance to the persons who were not their CHA, did not check the credentials of Shri Kapjl Oberoi and Shri Ankush Khullar were not in possession of DEPB scrips purportedly used for discharge of duty liability on the tainted bills of entry. The investigation had revealed that fraud was committed in a well designed manner. It was meticulously planned and executed and besides importers, their CHAS, the o .....

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rging the signatures of CHA on the bills of entry and clearing the goods without payment of duty through fraudulent means. The appellant did not controvert the statements of the co-noticees and receipt of the money on account of illegal activity for clearance of the goods, through impugned bills of entry. After issuance of the show cause notices, the penalties were imposed on the appellant under section 112 of the Customs Act, 1962. On appeal, the Commissioner (Appeals) confirmed the adjudicatio .....

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He submits that the provisions of section 111 9d) and 111 (o) of the Act are not applicable to the facts of this case. The penalty imposed on the appellant without invoking specific clause, therefore, the penalty is not imposable. He further submits that it has been alleged in the show cause notice that as the appellant has provided blank bills of entry and forged the signatures of the CHA and for this act, the appellant was getting ₹ 200 per container. It is his submission that the appell .....

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ed but the said penalty has been dropped by this Tribunal, therefore, the penalty on the appellant is not sustainable. 5. He further submits that the penalty was also proposed on bills of entry filed by Shri Ankush Khullar and Shri Kapil Oberoi in respect of those fraud has been committed. Even though the CHA was getting clearing charges in respect of alleged Bills of entry, penalty was either not imposed by the adjudicating authority or dropped by this Tribunal. He submits that as the penalty u .....

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sideration amount at the most was not more than ₹ 10,000/-. As the appellant was not the party to the fraud, therefore, the penalty is not imposable on the appellant. 6. On the other hand, learned AR appearing on behalf of the Revenue opposed the contention of the learned Counsel and submitted that the investigation has proved that the appellant was an important link in the commission of this fraud. His role has been elaborated by S/Shri Kapil Oberoil and Ankush Khullar who in no certain t .....

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fraud and considering the fact that they have some knowledge about the commission of the fraud, the penalty under section 112 of the Customs Act has rightly been imposed by the adjudicating authority. 7. Heard both sides and considered the submissions. 8. On investigation it was found by the department that the signature of the Customs Officers have been forged to clear bills of entry without payment of duty through their CHA in connivance with S/Shri Kapil Oberoil, Ankush Khullar, Shri Karnail .....

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rmed that he was not aware but the same were signed under the stamp of 'Director' M/s Unison. 2. Sh. Kapil Oberai also stated the same facts about the involvement of the appellant. 3. Sh. Pall Singh Lohia, MD of the CHA stated that Shu Pushpinder Singh had forged his signature on the BOE and committed fraud in association with S/Sh. Amit Khullar and Kapil Oberai. That the appellant was his employee and was given H card which was expired in June 2013, that after committing the fraud, the .....

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