JASJEET SINGH MARWAHA Vs. UNION OF INDIA (UOI) AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Jasjeet Singh Marwaha
UNION OF INDIA (UOI) AND ORS.
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S.RAVINDRA BHAT, J. -
(1.) ISSUE notice. Mr. Pradeep Kumar Bakshi, Advocate accepts notice on behalf of the respondents. With the consent of the learned Counsel for the parties, the petition was heard finally.
(2.) THE petitioner is aggrieved by a show cause notice issued under Regulation 22 of the Customs House Agent Licencing Regulations, 2004 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Regulations'); they were framed under Section 20 of the Customs Act, 1962. According to allegations of the Custom Authorities, the petitioner, a Customs House Agent, utilized a forged AEPC Certificate to clear the goods i.e. consignment of a customer namely M/s. El - Dupont India Limited. Apparently, a show cause notice was issued to the consignee and the petitioner. During the course of the proceedings, their statements were recorded under Section 108 of the Customs Act. These included the statements of the present petitioner. On the strength of the materials, the Additional Commissioner(Adjudication) of Customs, levied a penalty of Rs. 5 lacs upon the petitioner by an Order dated 20.10.2006, hereinafter referred to as the Adjudicatory Order. The petitioner appealed under Section 128 of the Custom Act being Ref. No. IRG/220/06/1940 which is pending adjudication before Shri Rajiv Kumar, Commissioner (Appeal).
(3.) IN the meanwhile, consequent upon the imposition of penalty, the respondents invoked their power under Section 21 and suspended the petitioner's Custom House Agent (CHA) license. Being aggrieved, petitioner preferred an Appeal to the CESTAT which set aside the suspension order and required the authorities to consider the matter afresh. After remand, the Customs Authorities reiterated their position and issued another suspension order on 17.4.2007. That has been appealed against. In this background on 18.7.2007, a show cause notice was issued asking the petitioner why the CHA license in his favor be not revoked, i.e. assailing the present case.
Learned Counsel submitted that the respondents did not apply their mind to the circumstances. The last bill of entry in question was filed in January, 2003. Yet the respondent chose to take action more than three years later. In the meanwhile, there were no complaints against the petitioner. Learned Counsel relied upon the fresh order made by the Custom Authorities suspending the license, dated 17.4.2007 and contended that this betrays an adverse mind set against the petitioner. It was also contended that the issuance of the impugned show cause notice is a ritual formality as the respondents have predetermined to revoke the license.;
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