Decided on April 29,1986



K. Prakash Anand, Member (T) - (1.)THIS is a revision application filed by the appellants against Order Nos. 56A-58A of 1982 dated 25.1.1982 passed by the Central Board of Excise and Customs, New Delhi. On the setting up of this Tribunal, this matter has been transferred here and is now being treated as an appeal before us.
(2.)The Order-in-Appeal is in respect of three Orders passed by the Collector of Customs, Madras, confiscating certain consignments of Acid Oil (Palm Acid Oil) imported by the appellants on the ground of unauthorised importation. The goods were, however, released on payment of different amounts of fine and the Collector imposed penalty on the importers under Section 112 of the Customs Act for being involved in unauthorised importation. The particulars of the three cases, the value of the goods, and the penalty imposed, and the brief reasons for the decision have been very well summarised in the Order-in-Appeal and these are reproduced therefrom below.

We also observe that in passing the above Orders, the Collector of Customs has taken the view that Palm Oil (all types including Palm Olein but excluding Palm Stearin/Palm Kernal Oil)/Palm seeds is covered by Entry No. 5 (4) of Appendix 9 of Import Policy, AM 1981 and also specifically included in Policy AM 1982 in Appendix 8, Entry No. 47. He expressed the view that Palm Oil, 'all types' is a wide term and cover all kinds, varieties, fraction thereof. He concluded that the goods imported, being Palm Acid Oil were to be regarded as a type of Palm Oil and could, therefore, be imported only by M/s. State Trading Corporation of India or against a specific Import Licence.

(3.)APART from making this general observation in all the three orders, in the Order-in-Appeal the Board has held that so far as importations against additional licences are concerned, there is clear admission by the importer that the Letter of Credit opened did not refer to any particular import licence and secondly the Collector's finding that M/s. Venus Soap Works did not have capacity to absorb the oil remained rebutted by the appellants, even though 10 days time was given to them after hearing to do so. As regards M/s. United Exports, it was held by the Board that it is established that the letter of authority was dated much after the opening of the Letter of Credit. In the case of third consignment also, the Board found that there was no reference to the licences produced in the Letters of Credit. The Board held that in view of these facts, it is of academic interest also whether the goods are Palm Acid or Palm Fatty Acid, the import of which was restricted.

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