8th December, 2004
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
(Department of Revenue)
Central Board of Excise & Customs
Subject: Return of deposits made in terms of Section 35F of the Central Excise 1944 and Section 129E of the Customs Act, 1962.
Reference earlier instructions on the above subject and looking to the instances arising out of non-implementation of the judicial orders, the Board has reason to review and reiterate the earlier Circulars on the subject of non-implementation of orders of CESTAT or any Final Authority in relation to returning pre-deposits made as per directions of CESTAT or any other Final Authority in terms of Section 35F of the Central Excise Act, 1944 & Section 129E of the Customs Act, 1962. The Board has taken a strict view with regard to non-returning of such deposits.
2. As we are all aware the CESTAT has in a number of such cases awarded interest on pre-deposits where its orders have not been implemented and the Department had challenged this and filed Civil Appeals in the Supreme Court.
3. The Board has noted the observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its order dated 21.9.2004 and has decided that pre-deposits shall be returned within a period of three months of the disposal of the appeals in the assessee’s favour.
4. Accordingly, the contents of the Circular No. 275/37/2000-CX.8A dated 02.01.2002, as to the modalities for return of the pre-deposits are reiterated. It is again reiterated that in terms of Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order such pre-deposit must be returned within 3 months from the date of the order passed by the Appellate Tribunal/Court or other Final Authority unless there is a stay on the order of the Final Authority/CESTAT/Court, by a superior Court.
5. Delay beyond this period of three months in such cases will be viewed adversely and appropriate disciplinary action will be initiated against the concerned defaulting officers. All concerned are requested to note that default will entail an interest liability, if such liability accrues by reason of any orders of the CESTAT/Court, such orders will have to be complied with and it may be recoverable from the concerned officers.
6. All Commissioners may advise implementation of these instructions and ensure their implementation through a suitable monitoring mechanism. Field formation may be suitably informed. Copies of the instruction issued may be endorsed to this office for information.
7. Commissioners under your jurisdiction should be advised that similar matters pending in the High Courts must be withdrawn and compliance reported. The board has also decided to implement the CESTAT Orders already passed for payment of interest and the interest payable shall be paid forthwith.
8. This issues with the approval of Chairman/Member (L&J), CBEC.
9. Kindly acknowledge receipt.
Joint Secretary (Review)