EXCISE SUPERINTENDENT HYDERABAD DISTRICT HYDERABAD Vs. VIJAY KRISHNA WINES PVT LTD
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
EXCISE SUPERINTENDENT, HYDERABAD DISTRICT, HYDERABAD
VIJAY KRISHNA WINES PVT LTD, HYDERABAD
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Sivaraman Nair, J. -
(1.)These writ appeals arise from a common judgment disposing of writ petitions 18367, 18308, 16430, 19482 and 18300 of 1988, respectively. Common questions arise in all these five appeals. The facts are also similar. We will refer to the parties as tkey appeared in the writ petitions.
(2.)The writ petitioners had applied for import permits for import of liquor from outside the State from Punjab in the four cases from Indore and Madhya Pradesh in the case, W P No. 16430/88. The permits were valid for different periods. Liquors were released from the distilleries manufacturing the same within the period of validity of the permits and they reached the State of Andhra Pradesh on dates subsequent to the date of expiry of those permits. In the four cases the imported liquor reached Andbra Pradesh 11 to 17 days after 1-10-1988, whereas in W P No 16430 of 1988, the imported liquor reached Salur check post in Andhra Pradesh on 1-10-1988. The petitioners had paid the countervailing duty on the quantity of liquor to be imported at the rates prevailing at the relevant time, i e, when the permits are received. The rates prevailing at that time was Rs, 35/- per bulk litre. By a notification dated 23-9-88, the Government issued GO Ms No 657, Revenue, Excise Department enhancing the counter vailing duty with effect from 1-10-1988 to Rs. 45/- per bulk litre. The revenue demanded the petitioners to pay the difference in duty, since the importation was effected after the expiry of validity of the permits. These demands were challenged in the writ petitions. The learned single Judge allowed the writ petitions. In respect of W P No 16430/88, the Court directed refund of the differential duty which the petitioner had paid under protest along with interest at 12% per annum from the date of payment. The other four petitioners had taken delivery of the stocks after giving bank guarantees for 50% of the difference demanded in pursuance of orders of this Court. The learned single Judge directed that the bank guarantees would be cancelled. It is that common judgment that is assailed in these writ appeals.
(3.)It is necessary for us to refer to the relevant provisions of the A P Excise Act, the Rules and Notifications for the purpose of understanding the controversy in its proper perspective. Section 2(10) of the A P Excise Act defines "excise duty" or "countervailing duty as meaning "the duty of excise or countervailing duty, as the case may be, mentioned in entry 51 in List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution." That entry is in the following terms :
"51. Duties of excise on the following goods manufactured or produced in the State and countervailing duties at the same or lower rates on similar goods manufactured or produced elsewhere in India :- (a) alcoholic liquors for human consumption ;"
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