Decided on May 11,2018

Union Of India And 2 Ors Appellant
M/S Dharampal Satyapal Ltd. Respondents


P.K.DEKA, J. - (1.) Heard Mr. B. Sarma, the learned standing counsel, Central Excise and Dr. A. Saraf, the learned senior counsel, assisted by Mr. P. Baruah, learned counsel for the respondent. The respondent company has one of its manufacturing units at Guwahati and is engaged in manufacturing goods (paanmasala) notified under section 3(A) of the Central Excise Act, 1944 (hereinafter referred to as the 1944 Act). The respondent imported one packing machine No.131023840 from Japan for packing their finished products in the year 2013. In exercise of power conferred under sub-section 2 and 3 of Section (A) of the Central Excise Act, 1944, the Central Government vide notification No.30/2008 dated 01.07.2008, notified the Paanmasala Packing Machines (Capacity Determination and Collection of Duty) Rules, 2008 (hereinafter referred to as Rules, 2008). Rules 4 and 5 of the said Rules, 2008 prescribe the factors relevant to production of notified goods. As per the notification No.5/2015-CE(NT) dated 01.03.2015, there was an amendment in Rule 4 of the Rules, 2008 thereby amending factors relevant for the production of the notified goods. One of the factors relevant for production of the notified goods was amended to the maximum packing speed at which such packing machines can be operated for packing of notified goods. The said value of production is required for assessment of the excise duty and the packing speed must be notified by the respondent as required under the Rules, 2008 by way of a declaration and the same requires to be accepted and approved by the concerned officials of the Excise Department.
(2.) The original packing speed of 1000 pouches per minute of the packing machine so imported in the year 2013 had to be reduced by installing a fresh controlling power unit (CPU) and packing speed was reduced to a maximum speed of 750 pouches per minute. A dispute took place with respect to fixation of the said packing speed following which the present appellant No.3 initiated an enquiry vide letter dated 18.11.2015. In the said enquiry, summons were issued to the various officials including Associate Vice President, Senior Vice President, The Deputy General Managers of various wings of the respondent company and to the best possible extent, the said officials of the company co-operated with the appellant No.3 in the said enquiry.
(3.) The respondent was constrained to file WP(C) No.6065/2016 before the learned Single Judge thereby seeking for an appropriate direction for termination of the enquiry initiated against the respondent company by way of letter dated 18.11.2015 for various grounds including causing unnecessary harassment on the officials of the respondent company in the name of the enquiry with prolong detention in the name of the enquiry and for recording their respective statements. The learned Single Judge vide judgment and order dated 22.06.2017 quashed the said enquiry initiated vide letter dated 18.11.2015 and being aggrieved, the present appellants have preferred this appeal challenging the said judgment and order of the learned Single Judge.;

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