Decided on July 30,2018

Prasad Anil Kulkarni Appellant
UNION OF INDIA Respondents


S.C. Dharmadhikari, J. - (1.) This writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India challenges the order passed by the Settlement Commission (respondent No. 3 to the petition) dated 13-6-2018. A copy of this order is annexed as Exhibit "G" to the petition and the Settlement Commission opines that there is a reference made by the petitioner/applicant to a notice dated 4-5-2018. However, that cannot be termed as a show cause notice so as to satisfy the requirement of Section 127B, sub-section (1) proviso (a) thereto (the Customs Act, 1962). The conclusion of the Settlement Commission is that, the petitioner/applicant has failed to satisfy it that he has complied with the requirement of proviso (a) by producing a show cause notice or referring to it at least in his application. Once such a show cause notice has not been issued to the petitioner/applicant, then, he is not entitled to invoke the jurisdiction of the Commission is thus the view taken.
(2.) This view finds, according to the Revenue, support from a series of judgments and orders, including of the Hon'ble Supreme Court and this Court.
(3.) Both sides argued extensively and the matter was placed today for passing orders. Today, when we were about to pass the order, we noticed that the Customs Act, 1962 has been extensively amended by the Finance Act No. 13 of 2018, brought into effect on 29-3-2018. There are two very important amendments and brought to two Sections, namely, Section 110 of the Customs Act, 1962, by insertion of two provisos below subsection (2). The provisos read as under :- "Provided that the Principal Commissioner of Customs or Commissioner of Customs may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, extend such period to a further period not exceeding six months and inform the person from whom such goods were seized before the expiry of the period so specified : Provided further that where any order for provisional release of the seized goods has been passed under Section 110A, the specified period of six months shall not apply." At the same time, Section 124 of the said Act has also been amended and that amendment is to be found by insertion of second proviso below Clause (c) to the same. The first proviso is referable to Clauses (a) and (b) and the third proviso therefore seeks to provide for a non obstante clause and that enables the proper officer to issue a supplementary notice under such circumstances and in such manner as may be prescribed. ;

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