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2019 (8) TMI 339

..... y the petitioner during the financial year 2010-2011 - HELD THAT:- The Foreign Trade Policy, 2009-2014, permitted a manufacturer of excisable goods to import raw materials, packaging materials and consumables without payment of customs duty by obtaining an advance authorisation from the Director General of Foreign Trade, Government of India, subject to conditions. Notification No.96/2009-Cus. dated 11.09.2009 was issued by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, granting exemption from payment of customs duty on such imported materials. Condition (ix) therein stipulated that such an importer must produce evidence of discharge of its export obligations to the satisfaction of the Deputy Commissioner of Customs or the Assistant Commissio .....

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..... mentation. Petition allowed - decided in favor of appellant. - WRIT PETITION NOs. 25098, 25477 AND 25486 OF 2018 - 2-8-2019 - SRI SANJAY KUMAR AND SRI P. KESHAVA RAO, JJ. For The Petitioner : Y SREENIVASA REDDY For The Respondent : MR M V J K KUMAR SR SC FOR CEC SER TAX COMMON ORDER The Assistant Commissioner of Customs (Group-7), office of the Commissioner of Customs (Airport & Air Cargo), Chennai, the first respondent, passed three separate orders on 09.10.2014. Thereby, he held that M/s.Hetero Labs Limited, Hyderabad, had violated Condition (ix) of Customs Notification No.96 of 2009 dated 11.09.2009 and levied upon it duty along with interest thereon, aggregating to ₹ 16,00,00,000/-. 2. Aggrieved thereby, M/s.Hetero Labs Limite .....

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..... V/s. UNION OF INDIA 2004 (168) E.L.T. 3 (S.C.) is therefore of no avail to the learned counsel. 6. We may however note that the orders impugned in these cases were passed in October, 2014 but it was only in May, 2018 that these writ petitions were filed before this Court. Further, the orders in question were appealable under Section 128 of the Customs Act, 1962. These two aspects are also stressed upon by Sri Swaroop Oorilla, learned counsel, to support his contention that we should non-suit the petitioner on these technicalities. Refuting this argument, Sri C.V.Narasimham, learned counsel, would point out that it was only in March, 2018, that the customs authorities informed the petitioner about the duty arrears due from it and of the exis .....

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..... communications and the impugned orders to its old address. 9. Sri Swaroop Oorilla, learned counsel, has no explanation to offer for this lapse on the part of the first respondent. 10. Perusal of the material on record bears out that the customs authorities themselves issued bills of entry with the new address of the petitioner. Further, the petitioner also complied with the legal requirement of filing Form 18 with the Registrar of Companies about its changed address. In such circumstances, the failure on the part of the authorities to communicate with the petitioner at the correct address and inability to show evidence of the impugned orders being served upon the petitioner come to its aid. We may note that the petitioner s right of statut .....

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..... to import raw materials, packaging materials and consumables without payment of customs duty by obtaining an advance authorisation from the Director General of Foreign Trade, Government of India, subject to conditions. Notification No.96/2009-Cus. dated 11.09.2009 was issued by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, granting exemption from payment of customs duty on such imported materials. Condition (ix) therein stipulated that such an importer must produce evidence of discharge of its export obligations to the satisfaction of the Deputy Commissioner of Customs or the Assistant Commissioner of Customs within a period of sixty days of the expiry of the period allowed for fulfilment of such export obligations or within such extended p .....

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..... ng authority, the first respondent is now choosing to penalise the petitioner by raising duty demands with interest thereon for failure to comply with Condition (ix), referred to supra. 17. Significantly, it is not the contention of the customs authorities that the delay in issuance of the redemption certificates was attributable to the petitioner. It was therefore for the authorities themselves to put in place necessary machinery to see that such certificates were issued promptly, so that they could be produced within the time stipulated in Condition (ix) of Notification No.96 of 2009 dated 11.09.2009. An importer who duly complied with such export obligations in terms of the exemption granted under the Foreign Trade Policy cannot be penal .....

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