Decided on April 28,2005



Pratibha Upasani, - (1.) THIS misc. appeal is filed by the appellants/third party Union of India through Deputy Commissioner of Customs (EPCG) being aggrieved by the common order dated 7.4.2005 passed by the learned Presiding Officer of Debt Recovery Tribunal-Ill, Mumbai in Misc. Application Nos. 8 and 9 of 2005. By the impugned order, the learned Presiding Officer rejected both the applications. Prayers made by the appellants vide those applications were, that permission be granted to the Customs officers to confiscate the property, which was in the custody of the Court Receiver appointed, for Government dues, as they had got priority and that direction be issued to the Court Receiver/Recovery Officer not to advertise for sale of the properties of the defendant No. 1 Daewoo Motors India Limited, pending and disposal of the appeal on Inward Number 692 of 2004 (Appeal No. 114/2005) preferred by the Union of India against the order passed by the learned Presiding Officer of Debts Recovery Tribunal-Ill, Mumbai whereby the learned Presiding Officer rejected the application made by the Customs Department to make them party defendant in the original application filed by the ICICI Bank Limited and other financial institutions against the Daewoo Motors.
(2.) Few facts which are required to be stated are as follows: The respondent No. 1 M/s. Daewoo Motors Limited had improved plant and machinery/ raw material under various licences of EPCS Scheme and executed bonds in favour of President of India considering themselves liable to pay the customs duty, etc. in the event of breach of conditions of the exemption notification. However, the respondent No. 1 M/s. Daewoo Motors committed branch of various conditions of exemption notification under EPCS Scheme. The Customs Authorities passed an adjudication order and demanded customs duty, which was approximately of Rs. 676.48 crore. The respondent 3 ICICI Bank Limited (now M/s. Asset Reconstruction Company (I) Limited) (for short ARCIL), being creditor had also filed the Original Application No. 102 of 2002 against the respondent No. 1 M/s. Daewoo Motors in the Debts Recovery Tribunal, Mumbai for the recovery of their dues and for enforcement of their securities. The said original application came to be allowed by judgment and order dated 30th August, 2004, By the very same order, the learned Presiding Officer of the Debts Recovery Tribunal-Ill, Mumbai also rejected the intervention application of the Custom's Department against which an appeal is preferred before the Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunal and is pending on the file of Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunal. Even though this appeal is still pending, two applications, as mentioned above, came to be moved by the appellants, which came to be rejected by the learned Presiding Officer by his impugned order dated 7.4.2005, as a result of which, the Customs Department's prayer for exercising their alleged right to confiscate the property imported by the importer (in view of the subsequent breaches of the exemption notification committed by it) was rejected. Another prayer for staying sale of the properties of the respondent No. 1 M/s. Daewoo Motors (which were allegedly liable to be attached and confiscated by the Customs Department), also came to be rejected. Being aggrieved by the said order passed by the learned Presiding Officer of Debts Recovery Tribunal -III, Mumbai, a writ petition came to be filed by the Customs Department under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to challenge the said order with a prayer for interim relief in terms of prayer Clause (c) to restrain, by an order of injunction, the DRT and its officers and subordinates from taking any further action pursuant to the public notice dated 16.3.2005, whereby bids for sale of the properties of M/s. Daewoo Motors were invited. The High Court by its order dated 15.4.2005 directed parties to appear before the Debts Recovery Appellate Tribunal, who was seized of the matter and gave time bound direction to dispose of the appeal on or before 28.4.2005. Accordingly, this matter was heard.
(3.) I have heard Mr. Sethna for the appellants and Mr. Samdani for the respondent No. 3. I have gone through the proceedings including the impugned order and in my view, the learned Presiding Officer has correctly passed the order.;

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