PRINCIPAL COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS Vs. BEAUTY GEM
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Principal Commissioner Of Customs
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(1.) Heard the learned counsel appearing for the Appellant. With a view to appreciate the controversy, a brief reference to the facts will be necessary. The Respondent Assessee who is stated to be an importer imported vide Bill of Entry dated 8th April, 2014 raw pearls which were seized on 29th May, 2014 as prima facie, the Revenue found that there is a misdeclaration and/or that the goods were under valued.
(2.) The Commissioner of Customs, C.S.I. Airport, Mumbai issued notice dated 25th November, 2014 for extension of time under the proviso to Sub-Section (2) of Section 110 of the Customs Act, 1962 (for short "the Customs Act"). By the order dated 27th November, 2014 the Commissioner of Customs extended the time for issuance of show cause notice by a period of six months from 28th November, 2014 in terms of proviso to Sub-Section (2) of Section 110 of the Customs Act. Being aggrieved by the said OrderinOriginal, the Respondent Assessee preferred an Appeal before the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, West Zonal Bench, Mumbai (for short "Appellate Tribunal)". By the impugned order, the Appellate Tribunal allowed the Appeal by setting aside the impugned order. However, the Appellate Tribunal observed that the show cause notice dated 25th May, 2015 issued under Section 124 of the said Act shall proceed. The Revenue was directed to retain sample of the pearls in question and also provide one set of sealed samples to the Respondent, in accordance with law.
(3.) The first submission made by the learned counsel appearing for the appellant was that when the Appeal was taken up for hearing on 23rd June, 2015 by the Appellate Tribunal, the order impugned in the Appeal which had worked itself out as after completing investigation, a show cause notice dated 25th May, 2015 was issued under Section 124 of the Customs Act. He would, therefore, submit that on the date on which the Appeal was heard by the Appellate Tribunal, the same had become infructuous. He invited our attention to the decision of the Apex Court in the case of I.J. Rao, Assistant Collector of Customs Vs. Bibhuti Bhushan Bagh, 1989 42 ELT 338 (S.C.). He invited our attention to the show cause notice dated 25th November, 2014 issued by the Commissioner and in particular in paragraphs 4 to 7 thereof. He submitted that reasons were given as to why show cause notice could not be issued within the stipulated period of six months as provided in SubSection (2) of Section 110. He submitted that what is set out in the notice certainly constitute sufficient cause enabling the Commissioner to extend the time as provided in proviso to SubSection (2) of Section 110 of the Customs Act. He also pointed out the findings recorded by the Commissioner in paragraphs 2.1 to 2.4. He submitted that as sufficient cause was established and as the Commissioner was satisfied that there existed sufficient cause, for reasons recorded, the Commissioner extended the time by a further period of six months. He would submit that there was no reason for the Appellate Tribunal to interfere with the said finding of fact which was based on grounds set out in the notice. He would submit that no interference is called for.;
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