Case Law Details

Case Name : Falcon India (Customs Broker) Vs Commissioner of Customs (CESTAT Delhi)
Appeal Number : Customs Appeal No. 50934 of 2021
Date of Judgement/Order : 21/03/2022
Related Assessment Year :

Falcon India (Customs Broker) Vs Commissioner of Customs (CESTAT Delhi)

Regulation 10 (n) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(n) of CBLR, 2013) requires the Customs Broker to verify correctness of Importer Exporter Code (IEC) number, Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN),identity of his client and functioning of his client at the declared address by using reliable, independent, authentic documents, data or information. Learned counsel for the appellant relied on various decisions as discussed above, to assert that it was not required to personally meet the IEC holder or verify the operation of the business at the address indicated. He would submit that as long as the appellant has obtained the KYC documents from any source, it is sufficient fulfillment of its obligations. The question in this case is who is the client of the appellant. Evidently, as indicated from the statements of the appellant, it was Anil and his son Abhimanyu. The IEC number and name and address of the importer filled in the Bills of Entry were that of Popular belonging to Madan Gopal without his knowledge. This was done by the appellant with the knowledge that the Anil was importing the goods in the name of others using the IEC of others after the DRI booked a case against him. This is a case of not only not verifying the details of the IEC holder but knowingly filing the Bills of Entry using the IEC without the knowledge of the IEC holder. Thus, we find that the appellant has violated Regulation 10(n) of CBLR 2018 read with Regulation 11(n) of CBLR 2013.

FULL TEXT OF THE CESTAT DELHI ORDER

This appeal has been filed by M/s Falcon India 1 assailing order in original dated 8.01.2020 passed by the Commissioner of Customs (Airport & General) whereby the appellant’s license under the Customs Broker Licensing Regulations was revoked, its security deposit of Rs. 1,10,000/- was forfeited and a penalty of Rs. 50,000/- was imposed upon the appellant. The operative part of this order is as follows :

“in exercise of powers conferred in terms of Regulations 14 read with Regulation 17(7) of Customs Broker Licensing, 2018 (Regulation 18 read with Regulation 20(7) of erstwhile CBLR, 2013), I confirm the proceedings initiated vide Show Cause Notice No. 15/MK/POLICY/2019 dated 17.07.2019 to M/s Falcon India, holder of CHA License no. R-22/DEL/CUS/2018 (PAN AABFF7020L)

50. I order to Revoke the CB License No. R-22/DEL/CUS/2018 (PAN AABFF7020L) of M/s Falcon India valid upto 14.11.2027 under Regulation 14(b) of CBLR, 2018 (Erstwhile Regulation 18(b) CBLR 2013). The CB M/s Falcon India is directed to surrender the original Customs Broker Licence along with all the original F/G/H cards issued to them immediately.

51. I order for forfeiture of the whole amount of security deposit of Rs.1,10,000/- (Rupees One Lacs Ten Thousand only) furnished by M/s Falcon India holder of CHA License No. R-22/DEL/CUS/2018 (PAN AABFF7020L) under Regulation 14(b) of CBLR, 2018 (Erstwhile Regulation 18(b) of CBLR, 2013).

52. I also impose a penalty of Rs.50,000/- (Fifty Thousand only) on M/s Falcon India holder of CHA License No. R-22/DEL/CUS/2018 (PAN AABFF7020L) under Regulation 18(1) read with regulation 14(b) of CBLR, 2018 (Erstwhile Regulations 22 read with 18(b) of CBLR, 2013)

53. The revocation of the CB licence and forfeiture of the whole amount of security deposit of the Noticee is independent and without prejudice to any other action that is or may be taken against the Noticee or their employees/representatives or any other person/party connected with this case under the Customs Act, 1962 or any other law for the time being in force.”

2. The facts of the case, in brief, are that the appellant had a Customs Broker’s licence valid up to 14.11.2027. Officers of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence 2 received intelligence that certain importers were undervaluing iron screws/self drilling screws/chipboard screws and power tools. Acting upon the intelligence, DRI conducted various searches at the premises of the importers and investigated the matter. One of such importers was Shri Anil Aggarwal, Model Town-I, New Delhi who imported iron screws/self drilling screws/power tools from China and Taiwan in the names of various firms registered in the name of his family members and other persons and had resorted to large under­valuation. DRI officers conducted searches at the residence, office and godown of Shri Anil Aggarwal on 28.03.2017 and gathered evidence of the actual value of the imported goods and detained the imported goods at various places and also recovered large amount of cash. Investigation showed Shri Anil Aggarwal 3 along with his son Shri Abhimanyu Aggarwal4 had been importing the aforesaid goods from China and Taiwan in the name of M/s International Fasteners, M/s Krishna Overseas and M/s Popular Metal Industries and that they deliberately declared lower value of the imported goods and submitted undervalued invoices and sent the differential value between the declared price and the actual price through other channels or in cash. Earlier, a case of evasion of customs duty was booked against them by DRI in 2015 and a show cause notice dated 2.2.2016 was issued to them demanding duty of Rs. 5,38,14,082/- in the name of M/s Ram Sarup Aggarwal and Sons (Shri Ram Sarup Aggarwal is the father of Anil). DRI found that after the case was booked, they started importing screws in the name of dummy firms to avoid detection and that they imported goods in the name of M/s Popular Metal Industries5, M/s K.D. Enterprises and M/s S.S. Enterprises. During searches made on 28.03.2017, cash of Rs. 5,41,14,400/- was also recovered from the residence of Anil and Abhimanyu.

3. It was found that M/s Popular Metal Industries was owned by Shri Madan Gopal, who, in his statement dated 28.03.2017 explained that he was not aware of any imports or exports made in the name of his firm and all his documents were with Shri Ravindra Kumar Aggrawal 6 of M/s Reliable Accounts and Commercial Services who maintains their accounts. Some documents related to imports by Popular were retrieved from e-mails of Abhimanyu, who, in his statement dated 28/29.03.2017 admitted that he and his father Anil had imported goods in the name of Popular. Shri R.K. Agrawal, the Accountant made a statement on 17.04.2017 before the officers that Anil and Madan Gopal knew each other and reached an agreement that Anil would use the name of Popular for imports and accordingly, he (Shri R.K. Agrawal) got an IEC issued in the name of Popular and imports were being made and that he was getting Rs. 25,000/- per month from Anil for maintaining accounts of Popular and that he was not aware as the how much Madan Gopal was getting paid.

4. It was found that the import documents were processed and the Bills of Entry were filed by the appellant in respect of these imports made in the name of Popular. Shri Vikas Gupta, partner of the appellant was summoned and his statement was recorded on 15.2.2019 in which he stated that import he processed three Bills of Entry dated 9.12.2014, 10.2.2015 and 19.2.2015 in the name of M/s S.S. Enterprises. Actually all the four consignments were imported by Anil who was his regular client. Further imports were also made in the name of Popular by Anil and the appellant had processed those documents as well. During the period December 2014 to February 2015, four consignments of powertools were imported from M/s Jiangsu Dongcheng M & E Tools Co. Ltd. by Anil in the name of M/s K.D. Enterprises and M/s S.S. Enterprises and the appellant got the clearances. The actual beneficiary in these imports was Shri Anil Aggarwal only.

5. Another statement was recorded on 3.4.2017 and which Shri Vikas Gupta, partner of the appellant stated that Anil is the importer of powertools, etc. and that he (Vikas Gupta) was aware that a case of undervaluation in import of Patta brand screws in the name of M/s Ramsarup Aggarwal and Sons was booked by DRI in 2015 and thereafter Anil stopped importing screws from M/s Patta International and M/s Boson International and started importing from two new suppliers M/s Kingpoint Enterprises and M/s Target Hardware and in the name of M/s Krishna Overseas, M/s International Fasteners and M/s Popular Metal Industries. Krishna Overseas is owned by Abhimanyu, International Fasteners is owned by Anil and Popular is owned by Shri Madan Gopal. The suppliers in the imports made in the name of Popular are the same as in the imports in the name of other firms by Anil. All clearances were done by M/s Falcon India the appellant. Shri R.K. Agrawal, the accountant and Shri Vikas Gupta, partner of the appellant have admitted to their connivance with Anil to import in the name of Popular. Shri R.K. Aggarwal was getting monetary consideration for his role in such dummy imports. Summons were issued to M/s K.D. Enterprises and M/s S.S. Enterprises but neither responded. However, it emerged from the investigation of DRI that the owners of these two firms had knowingly allowed misuse of their firms for imports by Anil.

6. DRI sent a letter dated 16.4.2019 to the Commissioner of Customs (Airport And General) in this case based on which action was initiated. Ms. Tanvi Gupta, Deputy Commissioner was appointed as enquiry officer in the case by show cause notice dated 17.7.2019 issued to the appellant. After enquiry, the enquiry officer found that the appellant had violated Regulations 10(a), 10(d), 10(e) and 10(n) of CBLR, 2018. The appellant made representation against the enquiry report as per Regulation 17(6) of the CBLR 2018. A personal hearing was granted by the Commissioner to the appellant on 28.11.2019 during which Shri V.S. Negi appeared and made submissions. He also made written submissions dated 15.11.2019.

7. After considering the facts of the case, the enquiry report, the submissions made by the appellant in writing and during personal hearing, the learned Commissioner has passed the impugned order and the findings are as follows:

a) As per Regulation 10(a) of CBLR, 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(a) of CBLR, 2013) “the Customs Broker shall obtain an authorisation from each of the companies, firms or individuals by whom he is for the time being employed as a Customs House Agent and produce such authorisation whenever required by the Deputy Commissioner of Customs or Assistant Commissioner of Customs.” Shri Vikas Gupta, partner of the appellant, in his statement dated 3.4.2017 admitted that he got the goods cleared in the name of Popular at the behest of Anil and Abhimanyu and that he had not even met the proprietor of Popular Shri Madan Gopal.

Further, in statement dated 15.2.2019 he said that Anil had imported three consignments of powertools in the name of M/s K.D. Enterprises and one consignment of powertools in the name of M/s S.S. Enterprises. Shri Madan Gopal, proprietor of Popular has, in his statement dated 28.3.2017, indicated that he has no information about the imports in the name of Popular and that he did not know Shri Vikas Gupta of M/s Falcon India. Thus, the appellant had cleared the goods in the name of M/s Popular Metal Industries, M/s K.D. Enterprises and M/s S.S. Enterprises without authorization from the holders of these IECs and thereby failed to comply with Regulation 10(a) of CBLR, 2018 read with (erstwhile Regulation 18(a) of CBLR, 2013)

b) As per Regulation 10 (d) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(d) of CBLR, 2013), the Customs broker shall “advise his client to comply with the provisions of the Act, other allied Acts and the rules and regulations thereof, and in case of non-compliance, shall bring the matter to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner of Customs or Assistant Commissioner of Customs, as the case may be.” Instead of advising the clients to comply with the act and rules, the appellant had, in connivance with Anil facilitated customs clearance of the imported goods with an intention to evade customs duty. Thus, the appellant had violated the obligations cast upon it under Regulation 10(d) of CBLR, 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(d) of CBLR, 2013)

c) As per Regulation 10 (e) of CBLR, 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(e) of CBLR, 2013) “the Customs Broker shall exercise due diligence to ascertain the correctness of any information which he imparts to a client with reference to any work related to clearance of cargo or baggage.” The appellant had, in connivance with Anil and Abhimanyu, filed the bills of entry. The Customs Broker had violated the provisions of Regulation 10(e) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(e) of CBLR, 2013).

d) As per Regulation 10 (n) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(n) of CBLR, 2013) the Customs Broker has to verify correctness of Importer Exporter Code (IEC) number, Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN),identity of his client and functioning of his client at the declared address by using reliable, independent, authentic documents, data or information. The appellant had failed to verify the correctness of the IEC, identity and whereabouts of the firms with authentic data or information thereby violating the obligations cast upon it under Regulation 10 (n) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(n) of CBLR, 2013).

8. Aggrieved, the appellant filed the present appeal on various grounds which have been summarized by learned counsel during hearing as follows:

(a) The allegation in the impugned order is that the Customs Broker knew about the undervaluation of the imported goods by Anil and was bound to report but it did not do so. It is also the allegation that no proper KYC documents was obtained by the appellant from the importing firm.

(b) The appellant was the CHA for Shri Ram Sarup Aggarwal & sons (Shri Ram Sarup is the father of Anil) but it was not a party to the show cause notice issued by DRI in 2016 and so knew nothing about under-valuation.

(c) Since the show cause notice was issued by the Department, it was in complete knowledge of the activities of Anil and therefore, the appellant, as Customs Broker, has no liability to inform what the Department itself knew best.

(d) The appellant, as Customs Broker, earns his bread from trade facilitation and the Department cannot expect it to play the role of spy. If the appellant spies for the Department, nobody would come for transactions to the appellant for business.

(e) No allegation is made that the appellant has profitted by under valuation or is the party to the transaction. It had only earned its agency charges.

(f) Reliance was placed on the order of the Tribunal in the case of Skytrain Services Vs. Commissioner of Customs (Airport & General), New Delhi 7 to assert that the CHA is not an inspector to weigh the genuineness of the transaction;

(g) Reliance was placed on the case of M/s KVS Cargo Vs. Commissioner of Customs (General), NCH, New Delhi8 to assert that the CHA is not expected to know whether the owner was real or benami.

(h) Reliance was placed on Kunal Travels (Cargo) Vs. Commissioner of Customs (I&G), IGI Airport, New Delhi9 to assert that CHA is not an inspector to weigh the genuineness of the transaction.

(i) There is no allegation that the appellant has not obtained the KYC documents or that they were not genuine and the only allegation is that instead of obtaining the documents from the holder of the IEC, it had obtained them from Anil and the Customs Broker is not required to personally obtain the KYCs from the holder of the IEC;

(j) Reliance is placed on Perfect Cargo & Logistics Va. Commissioner of Customs (Airport & General), New Delhi10 to assert that the appellant, as Customs Broker, is not required to conduct physical verification of the premises of the importer.

(k) Reliance was placed on Trade Wings Logistics India Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Commissioner of Customs, Chennai-VIII 11 to assert that the KYC documents need not be obtained directly from the IEC holder.

(l) In this case, CBLR 2013 would apply and not CBLR 2018 due to the savings clause in CBLR 2018. CBLR 2013 regulation 18 provided for revocation plus forfeiture of security deposit or penalty and Regulation 22 provided for imposition of penalty. Under CBLR 2018 Regulation 14 provided for revocation and Regulation 18 provided for penalty. So once the penalty is imposed under Regulation 18 there cannot be a revocation. Reliance was placed on the judgment of KVS Cargo to assert as above.

(m) The appellant has been out of work from more than three years as his license was suspended on 5.7.2019 and was revoked on 8.1.2020. Assuming, without admitting the fault of the appellant, the period of suspension and revocation is sufficient punishment. Reliance was placed on the order of Commissioner of Customs (General) Vs. Sainath Clearing Agency12.

Customs Broker cannot use IEC of others without their knowledge for import by his client

9. Learned Departmental Representative made the following submissions and opposed the appeal.

(i) The appellant knew about the earlier case of under-valuation of similar goods booked by DRI against Anil and it was the responsibility of appellant not to allow such activities by channelizing imports through other firms controlled by Anil namely M/s International Fasteners and M/s Krishna Overseas. The appellant was aware about such imports by Anil using dummy importers namely M/s Popular Metal Industries, M/s K. D. Enterprises and S. S. Enterprises. Having known such illegal activities to evade duty, the appellant had obligation to report the matter to Customs which it did not do.

(ii) The appellant had no proper authorization from five importing firms as the KYC documents were obtained from Anil and not directly from the importing firms. In fact, despite knowing that Anil was using IEC of these dummy firms with intent of duty evasion by undervaluing the goods, the appellant had, in collusion with Anil, allowed that to continue and also facilitated such clearances.

(iii) Shri Vikas Gupta, Partner of the Appellant firm admitted above facts in his voluntary statement dated 03.04.2017 tendered under Section 108 of the Customs Act 1962. He also admitted in his voluntary statement dated 15.02.2019 that whereabouts of the importers of M/s K. D. Enterprises and S. S. Enterprises were not known, and that Anil had contacted the IEC holders of these two firms and obtained consent to use their IEC for monetary consideration. Shri Gupta admitted his connivance with Anil for the impugned imports.

(iv) Appellant has violated provisions of Regulation 10(a), 10 (d), 10(e) and 10(n)of the CBLR, 2018 read with Regulation 11(a), 11 (d), 11e) and 11(n)of the CBLR, 2013 respectively as discussed in Para 47.1.1 to 47.4.2 (refer Pages 50-53 of the Appeal Paper Book) of the Impugned Order.

(v) Regulation 14 of the CBLR, 2018 read with Regulation 18 of the CBLR, 2013 envisages revocation of customs broker’s licenses and forfeiture of security deposit for violation of any of the provisions of the Regulations.

(vi) Regulation 18 of the CBLR, 2018 read with Regulation 22 of the CBLR, 2013 provides that the Customs Broker shall be liable to penalty for violation of any of the provisions of the Regulations.

(vii) Presence of mens rea is not mandatory for suspension/revocation of license and imposition of penalty under provisions of the CBLR, 2013/2018.

(viii) What is admitted need not be proved.

10. Learned Departmental representative placed reliance on the following decisions:

(i) Millenium Express Cargo Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Commissioner of Customs, New Delhi13

(ii) Jasjeet Singh Marwaha Vs. Union of India14

(iii) Commissioner of Customs (General) Vs. Worldwide Cargo Movers15

(iv) Commr. of Cus. & C. Ex., Hyderabad-II Vs. H.B. Cargo Services16

(v) Bhaskar Logistic Services Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Union of India17

(vi) Shree Venkatesh Shipping Services P. Ltd. Vs. C.C. (G), Mumbai-I18

(vii) Multiwings Clearing & Forwarding P. Ltd. Vs. C.C. (General), New Delhi19

(viii) Commissioner of Customs Vs. K M Ganatra & Co20

(ix) Commissioner of Central Excise, Madras Vs. Systems & Components Pvt. Ltd.21

(x) Evershine Customs (C&F) Pvt Ltd. Vs. Commissioner of Customs22

(xi) Deepak Handa and Ors. Vs. Principal Commissioner of Customs (Preventive), New Delhi23

11. We have considered the arguments on both sides and perused the records. The questions to be answered by us are:

a) Has the appellant violated Regulation 10 (a) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(a) of CBLR, 2013)?

b) Has the appellant violated Regulation 10 (d) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(d) of CBLR, 2013)?

c) Has the appellant violated Regulation 10 (e) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(e) of CBLR, 2013)?

d) Has the appellant violated Regulation 10 (n) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(n) of CBLR, 2013)?

e) Can the revocation of licence of the appellant under Regulation 14(b) CBLR 2018 (read with Regulation 18(b) of erstwhile CBLR 2013) be sustained?

f) Can the forfeiture of the whole amount of security deposit of Rs. 1,10,000/- of the appellant under Regulation 14(b)of CBLR 2018 (read with Regulation 18(b) of the CBLR 2013) be sustained?

g) Can the imposition of penalty of Rs. 50,000/- on the appellant under Regulation 18(1) read with Regulation 14(b) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 22 read with 18(b) of CBLR 2013) be sustained?

12. The facts of the case are not in dispute. The appellant is a Customs Broker and has been dealing with the imports by Anil and Abhimanyu. They were importing the goods on the IEC issued in the name of the firm M/s. Ram Sarup Agarwal and sons (Shri Ram Sarup Agarwal is the father of Anil ). A case of under-valuation was booked by the DRI and an SCN was issued to them in 2015. Thereafter, they started importing goods in the name of other firms which were not owned by them. They also changed the overseas suppliers. The goods continued to be cleared by the appellant. In his statement dated 3.4.2017, Shri Vikas Gupta, partner of the appellant firm confirmed that “that Anil Agarwal had been importing patta brand screws for last 10-12 years from the suppliers M/s. Patta International and M/s. Boson International (both Taiwan based firms) and they (Falcon India/ Vikas Gupta) had been getting these goods cleared through customs; that after booking of case by DRI, Anil stopped import of these goods cleared through Patta International and M/s. Boson International and started import of same items from two new supplier firms M/s. Kingpoint Enterprises and M/s Target Hardwar; that Anil had been importing screws and power tools through firms, (i) M/s. Ramsarup Agarwal and Sons – Anil Agarwal stopped import in this firm after case was booked by DRI; (ii) M/s Krishna Overseas- it was proprietorship concern of Abhimanyu Agarwal, son of Shri Anil Agarwal; (iii) M/s. International Fasteners- it was proprietorship concern of Shri Anil Aggarwal; and (iv) M/s. Popular Metal Industries- it was proprietorship concern of one Madan Gopal. However, Anil Aggarwal had arranged this firm for imports of screws and powertools after booking of case by DRI; the suppliers in M/s Popular Industries were same as in other firms of Anil Aggarwal; that Anil Aggarwal had introduced him (Vikas Gupta) to one R K Agrawal as his (Anil’s) Chartered Accountant and informed that he would also deal with the business of imports in M/s Popular Metal Industries; however, mostly Anil and Abhimanyu used to deal with them (Falcon India/Vikas Gupta) for the clearance of goods imported in M/s Popular Metal Industries; that he had never met Madan Gopal; that Anil Aggarwal and Abhimanyu Aggarwal were dealing with the firm M/s Popular Metal Industries.”

13. Thus, it is evident that the appellant was dealing with the Anil and Abhimanyu for a long time and was aware that a case of under-valuation of the imported goods was booked against them by DRI. It was also aware that thereafter, they continued to import the goods by changing the suppliers and also started importing in the name of new firms including one M/s. Popular Metal Industries whose IEC is issued in the name of Shri Madan Gopal. The appellant never met Shri Madan Gopal but it had been filing Bills of Entry in the name of Popular at the behest of Anil. Not only has the appellant not brought to the attention of the department when it was fully aware that after the case was booked by DRI, Anil continued to import goods in the same manner by changing the suppliers and in the names of other importers but it has, knowingly filed Bills of Entry to facilitate this process.

14. The appellant’s defence is that it was not a party to the SCN issued by the DRI and so knew nothing about it. Evidently, it is not true as in the statement on 3.4.2017, Shri Vikas Gupta not only indicated that it was aware of the SCN being issued to Anil Aggarwal but also that it was issued for undervaluation. Further, he also explained what followed- that Anil changed the suppliers and also started importing in the name of other firms. Therefore, the appellant’s defence that it knew nothing about the SCN issued by DRI to Anil is not supported by the facts.

15. The second line of defence of the appellant was that since the Department knew that the SCN was issued, it had no liability to inform the department. It is true that the department need not be told that the SCN was issued. However, what is important is that Anil continued to import in the name of other firms by changing the suppliers also with the full knowledge of the appellant and the appellant continued to clear the goods in these benami transactions which, in our considered view is nothing but collusion in the benami imports.

16. The third line of defence of the appellant is that as Customs Broker, it earns its bread from trade facilitation and cannot act as a spy to the Department and if it spies for the department, it will lose its clients. This defence cannot be accepted for more than one reason. Firstly, Regulation 10(d) of the CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(d) of CBLR, 2013) places an obligation on the Customs Broker to advise its client to comply with the legal provisions and in case of non-compliance, report to the Assistant Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner of Customs. Reporting so, does not amount to spying as asserted by the appellant but discharging its obligations. What the appellant claims to be trade facilitation is actually facilitation of fraud and benami transactions and it is afraid that if it does not so facilitate these fraud and benami transactions, it may lose its clients. Thus, it is evident from the submissions that the appellant has developed its business model based not on fulfilling its obligations as Customs Broker but on facilitating frauds and evidently if it exposes the frauds by its clients such clients will not come to it. We are afraid that Customs Broker’s licence is not meant for those whose business is built on promoting and facilitating frauds.

17. The fourth line of defence of the appellant is that it had not benefitted from the undervaluation. It is immaterial whether the appellant had profited from the undervaluation or not. The mere fact that it has knowingly facilitated the fraud and has not brought it to the notice of the Assistant Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner of Customs and has also filed benami Bills of entry to facilitate fraud is sufficient for action against the appellant under the Customs Broker’s licensing regulations.

18. We also find from the submissions of the appellant that not only has the appellant not disclosed the violations of Act by Anil to the department, it has built its business on facilitating such violations so as to get clients. It is not unreasonable to conclude that if the licence is restored, it will continue to carry on its business facilitating many more such frauds.

19. The appellant submitted that the CHA is not an inspector to weigh the genuineness of the transaction and relied on the case law of Skytrain Services. We agree. However, in this case, the appellant has knowingly facilitated benami imports and was also fully aware that Anil has been importing in the name of other firms after the DRI booked the case and has not brought it to the notice of the Department. So, it is not a case of the appellant verifying the genuineness of the transaction but is one of facilitating fraudulent transactions and therein lies the difference. Para 12.4 of the Skytrain Services which the appellant relied upon reads as follows:

“12.4 It becomes clear from the above provisions and the decision of the Hon’ble Apex Court that CHA is not supposed to be a formal agent either of Custom House or of the importer. But the utmost due diligence in ascertaining the correctness of the information related to clearance of cargo is the CHA’s duty. He not only is supposed to advise the importer/exporter about the relevant provisions of law and the mandate of true compliance thereof but is also responsible to inform the Department if any violation of the provisions of the Customs Act appears to or have been committed by his client at the time of the clearances. We have no difference of opinion from the case law as cited by the appellant that the revocation of license is a grave punishment and should not be imposed against the principle of proportionality. There is no dispute about the settled law that CHA is not an inspector to weigh the genuineness of the transaction. It is merely a processing agent of documents with respect to clearance of goods through the Custom House either himself or through his authorized personnel. Penalty as that of revocation of license cannot be imposed upon the CHA in absence of any active or passive facilitation by the appellant.”

20. The appellant also submitted that the CHA is not expected to know whether the owner was real or benami. Reliance was placed on KVS Cargo. We agree. However, the appellant in this case not only knew that the imports in the name of Popular Metal Industries were benami because it never met or interacted with the holder of the IEC and has been dealing with Anil in respect of such imports who was evidently, not the IEC holder. The statement of the appellant during investigation also explains that it knew the modus operandi of Anil after DRI booked a case of undervaluation, and knowingly facilitated such benami transactions. KVS Cargo does not approve of or support facilitation of benami transactions by the Customs broker.

21. The appellant relied on Kunal Travels to assert that the CHA is not the inspector to weigh the genuineness of the transaction. It is true but in the factual matrix of this case, the appellant was aware that DRI booked a case of undervaluation against Anil and thereafter, he started imported benami including in the name of Popular and facilitated these transactions. The Customs broker is not an inspector to weigh the genuineness of the transaction but the Customs Broker cannot also knowingly file Bills of Entry which are not genuine using the IEC of another person without such person’s knowledge. The motive to process the Bills of Entry in this manner is evident from the submissions on behalf of the appellant before us. It is to facilitate such transactions based on which its business is built and is afraid that if it discloses the frauds to the department as it is obligated to do, it will lose its business. The appellant cannot rely on Kunal Travels to claim that it has a right to knowingly file benami Bills of Entry.

22. The next submission of the appellant is that it had obtained the KYC documents of M/s. Popular Metal Industries and the documents are genuine and it was not required to personally contact the importer. It had done so through Shri Anil Aggarwal. It relies on Perfect Cargo Agency and Trade Wings. We are afraid that these decisions will not come to the aid of the appellant since the appellant knew that the imports were not being made by the IEC holder and that Anil was importing in the name of many firms after a case of undervaluation was booked by DRI against him. Not personally visiting the premises of the importer or contacting him is one thing and knowingly filing Bills of Entry in the name of an IEC holder without his knowledge so as to facilitate another person to import goods benami is another thing. One is a question of how much diligence is the Customs Broker required to exercise and the other is a case of the Customs Broker knowingly facilitating benami transactions.

23. The appellant has also submitted that Customs Brokers Licensing Regulations 2013 should apply to its case and not CBLR 2018 due to its savings clause. We find that the impugned order invoked both provisions.

24. We now proceed to decide the questions framed by us above. Regulation 10 (a) of CBLR 2018 (and erstwhile Regulation 11(a) of CBLR, 2013) mandates that a Customs Broker shall obtain an authorisation from each of the companies, firms or individuals by whom he is for the time being employed as a Customs Broker and produce such authorisation whenever required by the Deputy Commissioner of Customs or Assistant Commissioner of Customs, as the case may be. The appellant has not, in this case, obtained any authorization from Shri Madan Gopal in who is the proprietor of Popular Metal Industries but has filed Bills of Entry using this IEC. The appellant obtained the documents from Anil and filed the Bills of Entry knowing that Anil was not the IEC holder and that he has been importing in the name of other companies after DRI booked a case of undervaluation against him. Thus, it is not a case of carelessness on the part of the appellant but is case of deliberately filing benami Bills of Entry. The motive of the appellant in doing so, as is evident from the submissions before us, is to keep his clientele through facilitation of such benami transaction. Thus, we find that the appellant had violated Regulation 10(a) of CBLR 2018 (read with Regulation 11(a) of CBLR 2013).

25. Regulation 10(d) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(d) of CBLR, 2013) requires the Customs Broker to advise his client to comply with the provisions of the Act, other allied Acts and the rules and regulations thereof, and in case of non-compliance, shall bring the matter to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner of Customs or Assistant Commissioner of Customs, as the case may be. The appellant, we find, has been in this business for over a decade. Evidently, the least he can be expected to know is that true details of the importer must be indicated on the Bills of Entry. It was aware that Anil was importing goods in the name of other companies after DRI booked a case of under valuation against it. It was incumbent upon the appellant to have advised the client to follow the law and not import benami and if the client refused, it was the responsibility of the appellant to report to the Assistant Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner. The appellant did not do so and submits that it cannot spy for the department. If it cannot fulfill its obligations under the law, it is not entitled to the Customs Brokers’ licence. Thus, we find that the appellant had violated Regulation 10(d) of CBLR 2018 (read with Regulation 11(d) of CBLR 2013).

26. Regulation 10 (e) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(e) of CBLR, 2013) requires the Customs Broker to exercise due diligence to ascertain the correctness of any information which he imparts to a client with reference to any work related to clearance of cargo or baggage. In this case, there is nothing to show that the appellant had provided any false or incorrect information to its client. Therefore, we find that Regulation 10(e) of CBLR 2018 read with Regulation 11(e) of CBLR 2013 has not been violated in this case.

27. Regulation 10 (n) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 11(n) of CBLR, 2013) requires the Customs Broker to verify correctness of Importer Exporter Code (IEC) number, Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN),identity of his client and functioning of his client at the declared address by using reliable, independent, authentic documents, data or information. Learned counsel for the appellant relied on various decisions as discussed above, to assert that it was not required to personally meet the IEC holder or verify the operation of the business at the address indicated. He would submit that as long as the appellant has obtained the KYC documents from any source, it is sufficient fulfillment of its obligations. The question in this case is who is the client of the appellant. Evidently, as indicated from the statements of the appellant, it was Anil and his son Abhimanyu. The IEC number and name and address of the importer filled in the Bills of Entry were that of Popular belonging to Madan Gopal without his knowledge. This was done by the appellant with the knowledge that the Anil was importing the goods in the name of others using the IEC of others after the DRI booked a case against him. This is a case of not only not verifying the details of the IEC holder but knowingly filing the Bills of Entry using the IEC without the knowledge of the IEC holder. Thus, we find that the appellant has violated Regulation 10(n) of CBLR 2018 read with Regulation 11(n) of CBLR 2013.

28. To sum up, the appellant, in this case, has filed benami Bills of Entry for Anil and Abhimanyu knowing fully that the IEC in which it filed the Bills of Entry did not belong to them and that it was a modus operandi started by Anil after a case of under-valuation was booked by DRI. The appellant neither advised its clients against such benami imports nor has it informed the Assistant Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner as it was required to under the regulation 10(d) of CBLR, 2018 (read with Regulation 11(d) of CBLR, 2013) because it feels that such disclosure to the department would amount to spying for the department and it would lose its clients if it fulfils this obligation. The irresistible conclusion is that the appellant has built its business based on facilitating fraudulent transactions for its clients and wants its Customs Broker Licence restored so that it can continue in such business. All the case laws which it relied on are those where the undue burden was sought to be placed by the department on the Customs Broker beyond its obligations under the CBLR which was not upheld by the Tribunal and Courts. They cannot come to the aid of the appellant whose business is based on supporting frauds. It has been held by the Tribunal in Millenium Cargo as follows which decision was upheld by Delhi High Court.

“7. The documents filed by CHA are treated with a certain degree of trust by the Customs and such trust was completely violated in the present case. Filing of bill of entry filed in the name of a non-existent importer is a grave offence on the part of CHA and it becomes graver when it turns out that CHA did not make minimum efforts to verify the genuineness of the importer and its address. Such acts of omission and commission on the part of CHA can potentially have even more serious financial/security consequences and therefore such a CHA hardly deserves any leniency. We find that in the case of CC (General) v. Worldwide Cargo Movers – 2010 (253) E.L.T. 190 (Bom.), the Bombay High Court apart from upholding the principle of liability of the CHA for the act of its employees went on to observe as under :

“27. We have noted what the Tribunal has observed in the impugned order. In our view, the finding given by the Enquiring Officer and thereafter the order passed by the appellant in original are fully justified on the facts of the case. The authorities relied upon by Mr. Kantawala undoubtedly are mostly of the Tribunal. Even the judgment of the Calcutta High Court speaks about the suspension of licence not to be continued indefinitely. Here, we are concerned with revocation which has been resorted to after a due enquiry. We are conscious that the punishment has to be commensurate with the misconduct and that by revocation the respondent and its employees are going to suffer. At the same time, we cannot forget that though it is the right of a citizen to carry on his business or profession, it is subject to reasonable restrictions and conditions. In the present case, those conditions were already stipulated. In the case of Arvind Bhagat (supra), the order of Madras High Court has been left undisturbed by the Apex Court. It was a case where the CHA had failed to discharge his obligation to exercise proper supervision. In the case of Sri Kamakshi Agency (supra), the CHA was held responsible for the fraudulent activities of a third party whom it had delegated its functions. That was also left undisturbed by the Supreme Court. The present case is somewhat similar to one of Sri Kamakshi Agency, if not worse. Here, the CHA has brazenly defended his Regulation 8 employee who gave a fake name of his brother as an importer for undervaluing the imported car. Thus, the employee of the CHA was party to the Firm. The CHA has not disowned him and has, in fact, defended him in the reply filed by him before the appellant. That being so, he is clearly responsible vicariously. (emphasis added).

28. In our view, the Tribunal has committed a grave error in interfering with the decision of a domestic authority. In a departmental proceeding one has to see whether the principles of natural justice are followed and the findings are justified from material on record. Once both these aspects are satisfied if an outsider Tribunal interferes, its findings and order will be improper and perverse which is what has happened in the present case. Similarly when one comes to the disciplinary measures, one must not lose sight of the fact that the appellant-Commissioner of Customs is responsible for happenings in the Customs area and for the discipline to be maintained over there. If he takes a decision necessary for that purpose, the Tribunal is not expected to interfere on the basis of its own notions of the difficulties likely to be faced by the CHA or his employees. The decision is best to be left to the disciplinary authority save in exceptional cases where it is shockingly disproportionate or mala fide. That is not the case here. (emphasis added).

The ratios contained in the above reproduced paras (especially in Para 28 thereof) is squarely applicable to the present case.

Andhra Pradesh High Court in the case of H.B. Cargo Services [2011  (268) E.L.T. 448 (A.P.)] in Para 16 has also held as under :

“While great emphasis is placed by Shri C. Kodandaram, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent, on the previous unblemished record of the CHA, it must be borne in mind that a single act of corruption is sufficient to award the maximum penalty which under the CHALR, is of revocation of the license (State of Punjab v. Ex-Constable Ram Singh – (1992) A-SCC-54.” (emphasis added)”

29. In the case of Jasjeet Singh Marwaha, Delhi High Court has held that the CHA can be held responsible for violation of the Customs Act also and not only for violation of CHALR. Relevant paragraph of the judgment is as follows:

“6.3 The provisions referred to hereinabove make it clear that an owner or importer can act through an agent. In the instant case, the appellant who is admittedly the CHA of the importers, both filed as well as filled up the contents of the bill of entry, a fact which is not denied, on behalf of the three importers referred to hereinabove. In view of these facts and the provisions referred to hereinabove, it cannot be said that the agent cannot be held to be liable for violation of the provisions of the Act. The purpose of providing for appointment of an accredited agent, that is, an agent who has been issued a licence under the Regulations framed under the Act, is not only to facilitate the clearance of goods, but in doing so, to hold either one of them or both accountable for the actions which they take, based on which the clearance of goods imported into the country is brought about. The contention that the licence of a CHA can be suspended only for violation of the Regulations framed under the Act i.e., CHALR, 2004 is clearly untenable given the purpose for which the licence is issued and the provisions of the Act.”

(emphasis supplied)

30. In this case, the appellant knowingly, actively, facilitated benami imports and hence is accountable for its actions as held in Jasjeet Singh Marwa. In Worldwide Cargo, Bombay High Court has held that once a violation is found, the disciplinary authority can take action and it should not be normally interfered with. The relevant paragraphs is as follows:

“28. In our view, the Tribunal has committed a grave error in interfering with the decision of a domestic authority. In a departmental proceeding one has to see whether the principles of natural justice are followed and the findings are justified from material on record. Once both these aspects are satisfied if an outsider Tribunal interferes, its findings and order will be improper and perverse which is what has happened in the present case. Similarly when one comes to the disciplinary measures, one must not lose sight of the fact that the appellant-Commissioner of Customs is responsible for happenings in the Customs area and for the discipline to be maintained over there. If he takes a decision necessary for that purpose, the Tribunal is not expected to interfere on the basis of its own notions of the difficulties likely to be faced by the CHA or his employees. The decision is best to be left to the disciplinary authority save in exceptional cases where it is shockingly disproportionate or mala fide. That is not the case here.”

(emphasis supplied)

31. The judgment of Worldwide Cargo was followed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court in H. B. Cargo Services. The relevant paragraphs of this judgment are as follows.

“15. While the punishment imposed on the CHA has to be commensurate with the gravity of the proved acts of misconduct as, on revocation of his license, the CHA would suffer, it must not be lost sight of that, though it is the right of a citizen to carry on his business or profession, it is subject to reasonable restrictions and conditions which, in the present case, are stipulated under the CHALR. [Worldwide Cargo Movers – 2010 (253) E.L.T. 190]. As noted hereinabove, blank shipping bills were issued by the partner and authorized representative of the respondent-CHA for a consideration of Rs. 150/- per shipping bill. In cases involving corruption there cannot be any punishment lesser than the maximum i.e., revocation of the license. No other lesser punishment can be contemplated in such cases. [State of T.N. v. K. Guruswamy– (1996) 7 SCC 114]. Any sympathy shown in such cases is totally uncalled for and opposed to public interest. The consideration received for the act of misconduct may be small or large. It is the act of corruption that is relevant, and not the quantum involved in such acts. [Ruston & Hornsby (I) Ltd. v. T.B. Kadam – (1976) 3 SCC 71; U.P. SRTC v. Basudeo Chaudhary – (1997) 11 SCC 370; Janatha Bazar (South Kanara Central Coop. Wholesale Stores Ltd.) v. SahakariNoukarara Sangha – (2000) 7 SCC 517; Karnataka SRTC v. B.S. Hullikatti-(2001) 2 SCC 574; Rajasthan SRTC v. Ghanshyam Sharma – (2002) 10 SCC 330; Municipal Committee, Bahadurgarh v. Krishnan Behari– (1996) 2 SCC 714; U.P. SRTC v. Suresh Chand Sharma – (2010) 6 SCC 555; J.A. Naiksatam v. Prothonotary & Senior Master, High Court of Bombay – (2004) 8 SCC 653; Union of India v. Gyan ChandChattar (2009) 12 SCC 78; NEKRTC v. H. Amaresh– (2006) 6 SCC 187; U.P. SRTC v. Vinod Kumar – (2008) 1 SCC 115].

16. While great emphasis is placed by Sri C. Kodandaram, Learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent, on the previous unblemished record of the CHA, it must be borne in mind that a single act of corruption is sufficient to award the maximum penalty which, under the CHALR, is of revocation of the license. (State of Punjab v. Ex-Constable RamSingh – (1992) 4 SCC 54. That the respondent has been found guilty under Section 114 of the Customs Act, which proceedings have attained finality, is also a factor which must be borne in mind. While Tribunals constituted under the Customs Act, and this Court exercising jurisdiction under Section 130 of the Customs Act, are required to ensure that the punishment imposed is commensurate to the proved acts of misconduct, the present case which not only involves negligence on the part of the CHA in issuing blank shipping bills, but also an act of corruption in receiving Rs. 150/- as consideration for each such blank shipping bill would necessitate imposition of the maximum punishment which, under the CHALR, is of revocation of the license of the CHA. Mere suspension of license, in the facts of the present case, would be wholly unjustified. Ordinarily, matters of discipline lie in the realm of the competent authority i.e., the Commissioner of Customs who is best placed to understand the importance of the CHA in a customs area, and the trust and confidence reposed on him by the customs department. In an appeal, preferred against an order imposing punishment under the CHALR, the CESTAT should not be swayed by considerations of misplaced sympathy. Interference with the punishment imposed would be justified only when it shocks the conscience of the CESTAT. No indulgence can be shown to persons indulging in acts of corruption. The punishment imposed on the respondent, by the Commissioner of Customs, of revocation of their license, when viewed in the light of the grave and serious acts of misconduct held established, is justified. The punishment imposed is not one which can be said to shock the conscience of courts/Tribunals. The order passed by the CESTAT on mere surmises and conjectures and their interference, with the punishment imposed by the Commissioner, on grounds of misplaced sympathy is in excess of their jurisdiction, and gives rise to a substantial question of law necessitating interference by this Court under Section 130 of the Customs Act. The order of CESTAT is, therefore, set aside, and the order of the Commissioner, revoking the license of the respondent CHA, is affirmed. The appeal is, accordingly, allowed. However, in the circumstances, without costs”.

32. The Supreme Court has in K.M. Ganatra & Co. held as follows:

“15. In this regard, Ms. Mohana, learned senior counsel for the appellant, has placed reliance on the decision in Noble Agency v. Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai [2002 (142) E.L.T. 84 (Tri. – Mumbai)] wherein a Division Bench of the CEGAT, West Zonal Bench, Mumbai has observed :-

The CHA occupies a very important position in the Customs House. The Customs procedures are complicated. The importers have to deal with a multiplicity of agencies viz. carriers, custodians like BPT as well as the Customs. The importer would find it impossible to clear his goods through these agencies without wasting valuable energy and time. The CHA is supposed to safeguard the interests of both the importers and the Customs. A lot of trust is kept in CHA by the importers/exporters as well as by the Government Agencies. To ensure appropriate discharge of such trust, the relevant regulations are framed. Regulation 14 of the CHA Licensing Regulations lists out obligations of the CHA. Any contravention of such obligations even without intent would be sufficient to invite upon the CHA the punishment listed in the Regulations….”

We approve the aforesaid observations of the CEGAT, West Zonal Bench, Mumbai and unhesitatingly hold that this misconduct has to be seriously viewed.

16. Resultantly, we allow the appeal and set aside the orders of the High Court and the Tribunal and restore that of the Commissioner. There shall be no order as to costs”.

33. The above decisions lay down that the Customs Broker (or Custom House Agent) is a very important person in the transactions in the Custom House and it is appointed as an accredited broker as per the Regulations and is expected to discharge all its responsibilities under them. Violations even without intent are sufficient to take action against the appellant. While it is true, as has been decided in a number of cases, that the Customs Broker is not expected to do the impossible and is not expected to physically verify the premises of the importer or doubt the documents issued by various Governmental authorities for KYC, it is equally true that the Customs Broker is expected to act with great sense of responsibility and take care of the interests of both the client and the Revenue. It is expected to advise the client to follow the laws and if the client is not complying, it is obligated under the Regulations to report to the Assistant Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner. Fulfilling such obligations is a necessary condition for the CB licence and it cannot be termed as ‘spying for the department’ as argued by the appellant before us. It has also been argued that if it spies for the department, it will lose its business. It is evident from the facts of this case, that the appellant was not only aware of the benami Bills of Entry but has actually filed them with the full knowledge that they were benami and they were filed by Anil after a case has of undervaluation has been booked by DRI against him. It is afraid of losing business because it has built its business model on violators who, it does not want to upset by reporting to the department. Therefore, we find no reason to show any leniency towards the appellant. At any rate, once violation is noticed, it is not for the Tribunal to interfere with the punishment meted out by the disciplinary authority, viz., the Commissioner unless it shocks our conscience. In this case, it does not.

34. Learned counsel for the appellant argued that in its case, CBLR, 2013 apply and not CBLR, 2018. We find that CBLR, 2018 were invoked read with corresponding provisions of CBLR, 2013 and we do not find any infirmity in so invoking both the provisions. He also argued that as per Regulation 18 of the CBLR 2013, there can be either revocation of licence and forfeiture of part or whole of the security OR imposition of a penalty not exceeding rupees fifty thousand. Since the penalty has been imposed, the revocation needs to be set aside. The relevant clause of CBLR 2013 reads as follows:

“18. Revocation of licence or imposition of penalty. — The Commissioner of Customs may, subject to the provisions of regulation 20, revoke the licence of a Customs Broker and order for forfeiture of part or whole of security, or impose penalty not exceeding fifty thousand rupees on a Customs Broker on any of the following grounds, namely :—

(a) failure of to comply with any of the conditions of the bond executed by him under regulation 8;

(b) failure to comply with any of the provisions of these regulations, within his jurisdiction or anywhere else;

(c) committing any misconduct, whether within his jurisdiction or anywhere else which in the opinion of the Commissioner renders him unfit to transact any business in the Customs Station;

(d) adjudicated as an insolvent;

(e) of unsound mind; and

(f) has been convicted by a competent court for an offence involving moral turpitude:

Provided that the imposition of penalty or any action taken under these regulations shall be without prejudice to the action that may be taken against the Customs Broker or his employee under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962) or any other law fr the time being in force.”

35. Learned counsel is correct in his submissions that under Regulation 18 of CBLR, 2013, there can be either revocation and forfeiture of security deposit OR imposition of penalty of up to Rupees fifty thousand. However, we do not agree with his submission that revocation of the appellant’s licence must be set aside considering the gravity of the case and also considering that it built its business in a manner that if it fulfils its obligations of reporting violations by its clients to the Customs authorities it will lose its business and, therefore, instead, facilitates such clients. Therefore, we find that in view of the limitation under section 18 of CBLR, 2013, the penalty of Rs. 50,000/- must be set aside while upholding the revocation of the licence and forfeiture of its security deposit.

36. In view of the above, we find that the revocation of licence of the appellant under Regulation 14(b) CBLR 2018 (read with Regulation 18(b) of erstwhile CBLR 2013), forfeiture of the whole amount of security deposit of Rs. 1,10,000/- of the appellant under Regulation 14(b)of CBLR 2018 (read with Regulation 18(b) of the CBLR 2013) calls for no interference. The penalty of Rs. 50,000/-imposed on the appellant under Regulation 18(1) read with Regulation 14(b) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 22 read with 18(b) of CBLR 2013) needs to be set aside in view of the limitation under Regulation 18 of CBLR, 2013.

37. The appeal is partly allowed and impugned order is modified to the extent that the penalty of Rs. 50,000/- imposed on the appellant under Regulation 18(1) read with Regulation 14(b) of CBLR 2018 (read with erstwhile Regulation 22 read with 18(b) of CBLR 2013 is set aside. Rest of the impugned order is upheld. (Pronounced in Court on 21.03.2022)

Notes:

1 The appellant

2 DRI

3 Anil

4 Abhimanyu

5 Popular

6 R K Agarwal

7 2019 (312 69) ELT 1739 (Tri.-Del.)

8 2019 (365) ELT 392 (Del.)

9 2017 (354) ELT 447 (Del.)

10 2021 (376) ELT 648 (Tri.-Del.)

11 2019 (370) ELT 510 (Tri.-Chennai)

12 2015 (326) ELT 548 (Bom.)

13 2017 (346) ELT 471 (Tri.-Del.) affirmed in 2017 (354) ELT 467(Del.)

14 2009 (239) ELT 407 (Del.)

15 2010 (253) ELT 190 (Bom.)

16 2011 (268) ELT 448(A.P.)

17 2016 (340) ELT 17 (Pat.)

182010(261) ELT 8803 (Tri.-Mumbai)

19 2019(369) ELT 820 (Tri.-Del)

20 2016 (332) ELT 15(SC)

21 2004(165) ELT 136 S.C.)

22 2021-TIOL-482-CESTAT-DEL

23 MANU/CE/0055/2021

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