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2019 (5) TMI 1033

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..... culpatory in proceedings against the appellant for penalty under Customs Act, 1962 before the Tribunal. There is no hesitation in setting aside the impugned order - appeal allowed. - APPEAL NO: C/87404/2015 - A/85903/2019 - Dated:- 15-5-2019 - Shri C J Mathew, Member (Technical) And Dr Suvendu Kumar Pati, Member (Judicial) Shri Prashant Patankar, Consultant for appellant Shri R Kumar, Assistant Commissioner (AR) for respondent ORDER Per: C J Mathew Appeal of M/s Kismet Clearing Agency against order no. 45/CAC/CC(G)/SRP/CBS (Admn) dated 13th August 2015 of Commissioner of Customs (General), New Custom House, Mumbai, the licensing authority, revoking the license under regulation 20 of Customs Broker Licensing Regulations, 2013 had been dispos .....

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..... ch disciplinary proceedings are not immune from the test of reasonable delay , it was made clear that a rigourous application of the prescribed timelines may be contrary to legislative intent as delays may occur on account of unforeseen circumstances or from a calculated attempt on the part of the license holder which the courts cannot countenance or allow such perversion of the procedural requirements to stand in the way of rendering substantive justice. At the same time, it was held that it is not open to the public authorities to be irresponsible in the discharge of the respective adjurements prescribed in the said Regulations. 3. The proceedings were initiated against the appellant in connection with certain imports effected by two indi .....

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..... t of compliance with the principles of natural justice. This is particularly so as any interference in the exercise of the exclusive powers to penalise customs brokers under the said Regulations is normally restricted only to the quantum, if established to be disproportionate, if the process is vitiated or if the proceedings should not have been initiated at all. It is seen from record of proceedings that 310 days have lapsed between the issue of notice of enquiry and the submission of the enquiry report. 5. It would not be out of place to take particular note that the licensing authority did go into the reason for the delay of 15 days on his part in issuing the order of revocation and attributed it to the appellant herein. However, we find .....

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..... ion of proceedings, there is an indication of lack of application of mind. If these are available to that authority, the appellant should have been placed on notice and these documents should have been appended to that. In any case, there is no justifiable reason for not having these documents on record. The avoidable adjournment of proceedings arose from the inability on the part of the presenting officer and the enquiry officer to ensure that the proceedings commenced only when the preliminaries had been complied with. 6. There is no evidence of any delay on the part of the appellant in the enquiry proceedings. There is a record of inability of the presenting officer to proceed with the enquiry. The further delay in submission of the enqu .....

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