CA Bimal Jain

CA Bimal JainGMR Energy Ltd. Vs. Commissioner of Customs, Bangalore [2015-TIOL-259-SC-CUS]

GMR Energy Ltd. (“the Appellant”) claimed the benefit of the Exemption Notification No. 21/2002-Customs dated March 1, 2002 (“the Exemption Notification”) in respect of which, the importer was required to produce a certificate from an officer. However, the Appellant did not produce the same at the time of import but produced it later on. The Department denied the benefit of Exemption Notification to the Appellant on the ground that at the time of importation, the required Certificate was not produced.

The Hon’ble Apex Court held as under:

  • That at the time of import, the required Certificate was not produced is not a very strong ground for denying the benefit of Exemption Notification;
  • There is a plethora of decisions in which various Courts and Tribunals have accepted the production of Certificate even after the importation for granting benefits;
  • The Appellant, after representing to the concerned authorities, obtained a Certificate dated January 23, 2004 to the effect that the scheme of renovation has been examined thoroughly and approval accorded for the same;
  • The Principal Secretary, Government of Karnataka has also recommended the exemption under the Exemption Notification. The list of spares recommended has also been mentioned. The General Manager of the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. has certified that the spares listed in the letter of the Appellant are essential for the proper upkeep of the generating units.
  • Once the competent authority is satisfied that the impugned goods are required for renovation, the Customs Department need not go deep into hair splitting and semantic niceties to deny the benefit of Exemption Notification.

Thus, the Hon’ble Supreme Court allowed the benefit of Exemption Notification to the Appellant.

(Author can be reached at Email: bimaljain@hotmail.com)

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