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2019 (8) TMI 208

..... THAT:- The appellants had raised several grounds challenging the order of Commissioner of appeals including the ground that the weight of MS ingots had been determined by eye estimation and not by actual weightment and therefore there could not have been any addition on this score. It was also pleaded that invoice books were also compared in a follow-up action but no discrepancy was found and also that the Director of the applicant had never made admission before the authorities on the basis of which the additions have been made in the order in original - A bare perusal of the impugned judgment clearly shows that the Tribunal has not considered any of the arguments and submissions raised by the appellant but has only dismissed the appeal relying on the show cause notice dated 22/03/13 wherein it has been mentioned that invoices with the same numbers were issued on various dates and certain invoice were issued several times. The Tribunal has concluded by holding that no convincing defence was put forth by the appellant and therefore proceeded to confirm the order passed by the Commissioner (Appeals) I. An order without valid reasons cannot be sustained. To give reasons is engrained .....

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..... as discovered. Statement of Sri Lal Padamkar Singh, the Director, was also recorded and on the basis of available material it was found that the appellant company had indulged in receipt of uncounted raw material i.e scrap and deliberately suppressed the production of finished goods by resorting to issuing of false and forged invoices in addition to the originals, and he therefore, confirmed total demand of ₹ 2,00,449/- on shortage found in stock of MS ingots, demand of Central Excise Duty (Including Education Cess, Secondary and Higher Education Cess) to the tune of ₹ 36,46,346/-, and a penalty of ₹ 38,46,395/-, and imposed a further penalty of ₹ 38,46,395/- on Sri Lal Padamkar Singh, director. 5. The appellant aggrieved by the aforesaid order preferred appeals under section 35 of the Central Excise Act, 1944 before the Commissioner of Appeals which were dismissed by common order dated 14/10/2015 against which a second appeals were preferred before the CESTAT which were also dismissed by a common order impugned before us in the present appeals. 6. The appeals were admitted on 04/07/2019 on the following questions of law, namely:- "1. Whether the learne .....

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..... e to interfere with the impugned Order-in-Appeal. Both the present appeals are dismissed. 9. The learned counsel of the petitioner has submitted that it was the duty of the Tribunal to duly consider the issues raised by the appellant as recorded in paragraph 3 of the said order, and deal with all the aspects before deciding the appeals. It was also submitted that CESTAT has decided the appeals in the most cursory and casual manner and without giving any reasons for not accepting the pleas raised by the appellant, and therefore the said judgment suffers from vice of non-application of mind, which is writ large on the impugned order, and therefore the appeal deserves to be allowed on this score alone. 10. Sri Dipak Seth, learned counsel for the revenue, on this count did not oppose the arguments raised by the counsel for the appellant, but submitted that the matter deserves to be remanded to the Tribunal for reconsideration in accordance with law. 11. We have heard the counsel of the parties and perused the record. A perusal of the impugned order clearly indicates that the appellants had raised several grounds challenging the order of Commissioner of appeals including the ground that .....

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..... (JT 2004(2) SC 172 and State of Rajasthan Vs. Sohan Lal & Ors. JT 2004 (5) SCC 338:2004 (5) SCC 573]. 32. Reason is the heartbeat of every conclusion. It introduces clarity in an order and without the same, it becomes lifeless. Reasons substitute subjectivity by objectivity. Absence of reasons renders the order indefensible/unsustainable particularly when the order is subject to further challenge before a higher forum. [Vide Raj Kishore Jha Vs. State of Bihar & Ors. AIR 2003 SC 4664; Vishnu Dev Sharma Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors. (2008) 3 SCC 172; Steel Authority of India Ltd. Vs. Sales Tax Officer, Rourkela I Circle & Ors. (2008) 9 SCC 407; State of Uttaranchal & Anr. Vs. Sunil Kumar Singh Negi AIR 2008 SC 2026; U.P.S.R.T.C. Vs. Jagdish Prasad Gupta AIR 2009 SC 2328; Ram Phal Vs. State of Haryana & Ors. (2009) 3 SCC 258; Mohammed Yusuf Vs. Faij Mohammad & Ors. (2009) 3 SCC 513; and State of Himachal Pradesh Vs. Sada Ram & Anr. (2009) 4 SCC 422]. 33.Thus, it is evident that the recording of reasons is principle of natural justice and every judicial order must be supported by reasons recorded in writing. It ensures transparency and fairness in d .....

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..... e face of the sphinx", it can, by its silence, render it virtually impossible for the Courts to perform their appellate function or exercise the power of judicial review in adjudging the validity of the decision. Right to reason is an indispensable part of a sound judicial system; reasons at least sufficient to indicate an application of mind to the matter before Court. Another rationale is that the affected party can know why the decision has gone against him. One of the salutary requirements of natural justice is spelling out reasons for the order made; in other words, a speaking-out. The "inscrutable face of the sphinx" is ordinarily incongruous with a judicial or quasi-judicial performance." 16. Following this very view, the Supreme Court in another judgment in State of Rajasthan v. Rajendra Prasad Jain, (2008)15 SSC 711 stated that 'reason is the heartbeat of every conclusion, and without the same it becomes lifeless. 17. Providing of reasons in orders is of essence in judicial proceedings. Every litigant who approaches the Court with a prayer is entitled to know the reasons for acceptance or rejection of such request. Either of the parties to the lis h .....

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..... ful to refer to the words of Justice Roslyn Atkinson, Supreme Court of Queensland, at AIJA Conference at Brisbane on 13-9-2002 in relation to Judgment Writing. Describing that some judgments could be complex, in distinction to routine judgments, where one requires deeper thoughts, and the other could be disposed of easily but in either cases, reasons they must have. While speaking about purpose of a judgment, she said, 'The first matter to consider is the purpose of the judgment. To my mind there are four purposes for any judgment that is written:- (1) to clarify your own thoughts; (2) to explain your decision to the parties; (3) to communicate the reasons for the decision to the public; and (4) to provide reasons for an Appellate Court to consider.' 20. Clarity of thought leads to proper reasoning and proper reasoning is the foundation of a just and fair decision. In Alexander Machinery (Dudley) Ltd. v. Crabtree 1974 ICR 120 (NIRC), the Court went to the extent of observing that 'Failure to give reasons amounts to denial of justice'. Reasons are really linchpin to administration of justice. They are the link between the mind of the decision-taker and the controvers .....

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