SETH ENTERPRISE PVT LTD Vs. COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS
LAWS(CAL)-1996-6-27
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Decided on June 06,1996

SETH ENTERPRISE PVT. LTD. Appellant
VERSUS
COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Tarun Chatterjee, J. - (1.)On a very technical point, I am of the view that the order passed by the adjudicating authority in the adjudication proceedings under Section 124 of the Customs Act should be liable to be set aside, although I am aware that the final order passed in the said proceedings is open to be challenged in appeal.
(2.)It is not in dispute that on 15th November, 1995, a learned Single Judge of this Court disposed of a writ application, being Writ Petition No. 1971 of 1995, by passing the following order :
"The petitioner shall file its reply to the writ application within 13-6-1995, as contained in Annexure "D" to the writ application, within 3 weeks from date. The adjudicating authority shall fix a date of hearing on the date on which the petitioner files the reply by hand. In the event the petitioner falls to file the reply without any cogent reason, it would be open to the respondents to proceed ex parte against it. The adjudicating authority shall dispose of the matter, in terms of the provisions of the Customs Act at an early date and preferably within a period of six weeks after filing of the reply by the petitioner."
There is no dispute that this order was passed by the learned Single Judge in presence of the learned Counsel for the respondents.
(3.)It is now an admitted position that the final order passed in the adjudication proceedings under Section 124 of the Customs Act was so passed on 8th September, 1995 and the same was despatched to the writ petitioner for service of the said order on 16th November, 1995. It is not in dispute that no opportunity of hearing was at all given to the writ petitioner. It is now well-settled that even if there is a provision for filing of appeal against the final order passed under Section 124 of the Customs Act, even then the writ Court retains the jurisdiction to decide such order if it is found that there is violation of the principles of Natural justice.
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