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Messrs Sedna Impex India Pvt. Ltd. & 1 Versus Union of India & 2

2017 (11) TMI 846 - GUJARAT HIGH COURT

Valuation of imported goods - mixed lot of 100% polyester knitted fabrics - rejection of transaction value - Held that: - It is well settled that the High Court would not ordinarily entertain a writ petition directly aimed against an order-in-original in taxing statute where statutory appeals are available, more so when ultimately the issue is one which would travel to the Supreme Court by way of appeal instead of the High Court - In the present case, however, the adjudicating authority has refe .....

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et aside and proceedings be remanded to the said authority for fresh disposal - appeal allowed by way of remand. - Special Civil Application No. 2772 of 2017 With Special Civil Application No. 5755 of 2017 With Special Civil Application No. 7312 of 2017 With Special Civil Application No. 7315 of 2017 With Special Civil Application No. 7318 of 2017 - Dated:- 7-11-2017 - MR. AKIL KURESHI AND MR. A.Y. KOGJE, JJ. Special Civil Application No. 7319 of 2017 With Special Civil Application No. 9287 of .....

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o. 5755 of 2017 is treated as lead matter. Petitioners are importers of mixed fabric. They have imported mixed lot of 100% polyester knitted fabrics at Mundra Port. Dispute between the petitioners and the department pertains to the transaction value of the imports. In the past also, similar disputes had arisen in terms of section 14 of the Customs Act, 1962 read with the Customs Valuation [Determination of Value of Imported Goods] Rules, 2017 [hereinafter to be referred to as 'the said Rules .....

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ere brought on record while rejecting the value declaration of the petitioner. The appellate authority concluded that the adjudicating authority had not established any mis-declaration and there was no evidence of any act of omission or commission to substantiate undervaluation of imported goods. He also held that the adjudicating authority had not pointed out any cogent grounds for rejection of the declared value nor followed the procedure prescribed under section 14 read with the said Rules. I .....

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have challenged in these petitions. Their main ground is that when an identical issue has been decided by the appellate authority in favour of the importers, the adjudicating authority could not have taken a different view. They strongly rely on the decisions of this Court and the Supreme Court holding that as quasi judicial authority, the adjudicating officer is bound by the judgement of the appellate authority. As long as such appellate orders stand, the adjudicating authority cannot take a d .....

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he adjudicating authority from taking a different view when new material has been brought on record. It is further contended that in view of availability of statutory appeals, the present petition should not be entertained more so, when the issue involved is one of valuation of the goods having relation to the rate of duty. In such a case, the appeal would lie before the Supreme Court at the hands of the person aggrieved by the final order that the CESTAT may pass. 4. Learned advocate Mr. Parito .....

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The comparability must be in terms of time of import and the quantity of import. He submitted that merely because the grounds are similar would not mean the imports are comparable. He lastly contended that in certain cases, the authority has substituted the declared valuation without any hearing being granted to the importers. 5. On the other hand, learned advocates Mr. Vyas and Shah for the department opposed the petitions contending that in view of statutory appeals available, these petitions .....

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ses would be where the declared value was substituted by a higher valuation without any notice or hearing to the petitioners. In third category would fall these cases where the adjudicating authority has passed fresh order without any fresh material on record and has thus disregarded the appellate order. 7. In first category of cases, the petitioners must be relegated to appeal remedy. Against the order of adjudicating authority, admittedly, a statutory appeal lies to the Commissioner. Yet again .....

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High Court. Despite this, had the adjudicating authority passed fresh orders under identical circumstances, in which, earlier the Commissioner (Appeals) had reversed the same, we would have still stepped in to obviate the gross injustice. As per the settled law, the adjudicating authority would be bound by the order of the appellate authority as long as it holds the field. If he had therefore taken a decision contrary to such appellate order under identical circumstances, the petitioners would h .....

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to imports of identical material and based its conclusion on such imports. These observations are limited to making distinction between the earlier orders of adjudication passed by the authority and the present group of cases. This is not to curtail any of the legal contentions of the petitioners on merits of the orders passed. However, in cases where the adjudicating authority has substituted the declared value of the petitioner without any notice or hearing, such orders would have to be set as .....

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challenged order dated 02.02.2017 substituting the valuation declared by the petitioner without there being any additional material being brought on record. This clearly is opposed to the principles of precedence. Such order is, therefore, set aside. The petitioner has also prayed for finalization of the bills of entries which are pending. The same shall be done latest by 15.12.2017. Special Civil Application No. 2772 of 2017 is disposed of accordingly. 10. In Special Civil Application No. 5755 .....

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ated 27.02.2017, the adjudicating authority has brought on record fresh material. The petitioner would, therefore, have to challenge the same before the appellate authority. C. In case of order-in-original dated 09.03.2017, the adjudicating authority has brought on record fresh material. The petitioner would, therefore, have to challenge the same before the appellate authority. D. In case of order-in-original dated 03.04.2017, the fresh instance relied upon is same as which the appellate authori .....

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