MASOOD ALAM AND CO Vs. COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS
CUSTOMS EXCISE AND GOLD(CONTROL) APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
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T.P. Nambiar, Member (J) -
(1.) THE applicants/appellants had filed this Stay Petition and Appeal praying for stay of the impugned order and allowing them to take the confiscated goods in their possession during the pendency of the appeal. In terms of the impugned order the consignment of Stamping Foils valued at Rs. 1,38,121.00 is confiscated under Section 111(d) of the Customs Act, 1962 and the applicants/appellants were given an option to redeem the same on payment of redemption fine of Rs. 1,00,000.00. It was also held that the applicants/appellants will not be eligible to the benefit of Exemption Notification No. 224/85-Cus., dated 9-7-1985. Consequently, the applicants/appellants had to pay the additional duty on the goods. THErefore, the Stay Petition is filed for stay of the operation of the order and allowing the applicants to redeem the goods in question.
(2.) The learned Additional Collector held that for the reasons mentioned in the order the Stamping Foils imported by the applicants/appellants cannot be used in leather industry and therefore, these cannot be cleared under OGL as claimed by the applicants/appellants. They claimed the benefit of these Stamping Foils under Appx. 6, List-8, Part-I, Serial No. 558 of the 1988-91 Import Policy. They claimed the benefit of Exemption Notification No. 224/85 dated 9-7-1985, which is available for Stamping Foils for use in the leather industry. The crucial question to be decided in this case was whether the Stamping Foils imported by the applicants/appellants are for use in the leather industry. The learned Additional Collector held that the same is not fit for use in the leather industry and it cannot be imported under OGL and confiscated the same. The learned Advocate, Shri Sunil Chatterjee stated that the Tribunal had the power to give an interim order granting the stay and in this connection, the learned Counsel also submitted that the applicants/appellants had already paid the duty amounting to Rs. 62,766.00 on 16-2-1989 @ 40% + 5% after getting the benefit of Exemption Notification No. 224/85. He also stated that in a similar case the Hon'ble High Court of Calcutta had allowed another party to clear the goods in question on executing the End-Use Bond and other necessary bonds as to the actual consumption of such Stamping Foils in the leather industry to the satisfaction of the Customs Authorities. He produced the decision of the Hon'ble High Court of Calcutta in Matter No. 2358 of 1990 in the Case of Shawkat Kamal v. Collector of Customs and Ors.. - 1992 (57) ELT 276 (Cal.)]. He also stated that the applicants/appellants are having means to pay the Redemption Fine as well as any duty if demanded and produced the statements of exports for the previous three years.
Replying the above-said contentions, the learned S.D.R., Shri M.N. Biswas contended that no penalty is imposed on the applicants/appellants in this case and question of stay does not arise. He also stated that by virtue of the inherent power no such orders can be passed. It was also contended that the Tribunal being the creature of the statute can work within the framework of the statute. He also stated that the case mentioned by the learned Advocate is not applicable to the facts of this case as in that case, the order was passed by the Hon'ble High Court in the Writ Jurisdiction and the same is not applicable to the facts of this case. He therefore, contended that the Stay Application may be dismissed.
(3.) WE have considered the submissions. WE find that the Tribunal has an inherent jurisdiction to grant stay in a matter like this. The Customs Act does not prohibit the exercise of such inherent jurisdiction by the Tribunal. On that count, the stay application cannot be dismissed. The applicants/appellants had imported Stamping Foils on the ground that they were to be used in leather industry. The learned Additional Collector relied on three catalogues produced by the Department and came to the conclusion that they cannot be used in leather industry and the applicants/appellants were not entitled for the benefit of the Notification No. 224/85. Therefore, he confiscated the goods and the applicants/appellants had to pay the normal rate of duty. In similar circumstances, the Hon'ble High Court had released the goods in favour of the Petitioner, Shri Shawkat Kamal, in Matter No. 2358 of 1990, dated 12-4-1991. A copy of the order was produced by the learned Advocate, Shri Sunil Chatterjee. In that particular order, the Hon'ble High Court held as follows :-
"Accordingly, the impugned show cause notice (Annexure-I) stands quashed and I hold that the Customs authorities at the time of release of the imported goods as claimed in the instant case, will not insist on the condition for production of the manufacturer's catalogue/literature regarding the use of the imported stamping foils in leather industry but the writ petitioner will have to produce the end-use bonds and other necessary bonds as to the actual consumption of such stamping foils in the leather industry, to the satisfaction of the Customs authorities and he will also produce certificate of the consumption of the imported stamping foils in the leather industry to be verified by the Central Excise Authority and/or any other authority concerned."
In that case also, the petitioner had imported stamping foils in leather industry and the same was confiscated by the authorities. In similar circumstances, the Hon'ble High Court had passed the above-said order.;
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