Decided on July 24,2015

Inter Globe Aviation Limited (Indigo) Appellant
The Commissioner Of Customs (Import) And Ors. Respondents


- (1.) M /s. Inter Globe Aviation Limited (hereinafter also referred to as applicant) is a Public Limited Company. They are inter -alia engaged in providing scheduled air transport service. Applicant submits that they intend to import seats of aircraft for replacing the existing seats; that existing seats are proposed to be replaced to provide a more comfortable flying experience to the fliers and to improve the fuel efficiency of the aircraft as the seats would be lighter in weight; that in this process, seats requiring repairing due to wear and tear shall also be replaced. Applicant further submits that for such repair and maintenance activity under the aircraft, they had obtained approval from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) as required under Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) -145; that the certificate of approval allows them to carry out minor structural repair; that replacement of seats get covered under such minor structural change; that during the process of replacement, the old seats would be removed from the base by unbolting and new seats would be fitted with nuts and bolts.
(2.) ON the instructions of this Authority, applicant filed written submission to show inter -alia that replacement of seats in the existing fleet of aircrafts of the applicant with new lighter seats has resulted in fuel efficiency in its operations. Applicant submits that at present, they are operating 96 Aircrafts of A -320 family; that Airbus has fixed capacity of 180 seats; that such aircrafts were originally fitted with the Weber Passenger seats, which have been replaced by Dragonfly brand in 52 aircrafts out of its fleet of 96 aircrafts; that weight of Weber seat is 13 kg, as compared to weight of Dragonfly seat, which is 9 Kg; that applicant has been able to reduce to weight of its one Airbus 320 by 700 Kg approximately; that if there is reduction of 1% in weight, 100 kg of fuel is saved for a flight. This Authority vide order dated 10.02.2014 had admitted the application taking into account the order in the matter of Guthy Renker Marketing Pvt. Ltd. [2010 (216) ELT (AAR)] with the condition that the applicability of said order shall be considered when the matter is finally heard. Revenue contends that the department came to know that matter is pending with this Authority, only when clarification was sought from the applicant regarding eligibility of exemption of imports of aircraft seats vide Bills of Entry No. 9654917 and 9654931, both dated 23.03.2013. Therefore, application needs to be rejected as per Section 28E(2)(a) of the Customs Act, 1962.
(3.) SECTION 28I(2)(a) of the Customs Act, 1962 envisages that the Authority shall not allow the application where the question raised is already pending in the applicant's case before any officer of Customs, the Appellate Tribunal or any Court. It is noticed that the applicant filed application before this Authority on 28.06.2012. However, first Bill of Entry was filed on 15.01.2013 i.e. after about 6 months. This Authority in Guthy Renker Marketing Pvt. Ltd.,, 2010 (261) ELT 737 (AAR) has ruled that eligibility to seek advance ruling should be the date of filing application. Therefore, we observe that activities subsequent to filing of this application, shall not make the applicant ineligible under Section 28I(2)(a) of the Customs Act, 1962.;

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