Decided on January 08,2015

CCE Respondents


Rakesh Kumar, Member (T) - (1.)THE facts leading to filing of this appeal are, in brief, as under.
(2.)THE appellant are a sugar mill engaged in the manufacture of sugar and molasses chargeable to Central Excise duty. The period of dispute in this case is October to December 1997. During this period, the appellant, in terms of the orders of Central Government, had cleared 6809 qntl. of sugar from their free sale sugar quota as levy sugar on loan basis by paying duty at the rate applicable for levy sugar. Subsequently, the Central Government paid the difference between the price of levy sugar and price of free sale sugar to the appellant alongwith the element of differential duty and before this, the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Mills as well as Indian Sugar Association had been notified about this decision of the Government. There is no dispute that the differential duty, that is the duty payable at the rate applicable for levy sugar and at the rate free sugar, that is, Rs. 2,24,697/ - had been paid by the appellant on 20th August 2002. The Jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner, however, vide order -in -original dated 27/12/04 confirmed the duty demand of Rs. 2,24,697/ - against the appellant under Section 11A(2) of the Central Excise Act, 1944 and appropriated the same amount already paid by the appellant towards this demand. In this order, however, beside the duty, he also demanded interest on this duty under Section 11AB and beside this, imposed penalty of Rs. 5,000/ - on the appellant under Rule 173Q(1) of the Central Excise Rules. On appeal being filed by the appellant to the Commissioner (Appeals) against this order of the Assistant Commissioner, the Commissioner (Appeals) vide order -in -appeal dated 29/11/05 upheld the Assistant Commissioner's order. Against this order of the Commissioner (Appeals), this appeal has been filed.
Today, when this matter was called for hearing, none representing the appellant appeared, though a notice in respect of hearing of this matter today had been issued to the appellant well in time on 21/11/14. It is also seen on earlier occasions also whenever this matter was listed for hearing, none representing the appellant appeared. In view of this, in accordance with Rule 21 of CESTAT Procedure Rules, the matter is being decided ex -parte.

(3.)SHRI R.K. Grover, the learned DR, defended the impugned order by reiterating the findings of the Commissioner (Appeals) and emphasised that when the Central Government had reimbursed the price differential between the levy sugar and free sugar alongwith the duty, the duty demand has been correctly confirmed upheld by the Commissioner (Appeals) and since the duty had been short paid, the interest under Section 11AB and penalty under Rule 173Q(1) would be attracted.

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