Case Law Details

Case Name : Commissioner Of Customs ACC Import New Delhi Vs Kajariaceremics Ltd. (Delhi High Court)
Appeal Number : CUSAA 4/2024
Date of Judgement/Order : 23/01/2024
Related Assessment Year :

Commissioner of Customs ACC Import New Delhi Vs Kajariaceremics Ltd. (Delhi High Court)

Introduction: In a significant legal proceeding, the Delhi High Court addressed a customs dispute involving the Commissioner of Customs ACC Import New Delhi and Kajariaceremics Ltd. The case centered on the condonation of a substantial delay of 2267 days in filing an appeal under Section 130(2A) of the Customs Act, 1962.

Background of the Case: The appeal was filed challenging the judgment of a learned Single Judge in a previous writ petition. The crux of the matter was the reopening of the appellant’s income tax assessment for the year 2016-17 due to high-value transactions. The legal journey saw the issuance of show cause notices and subsequent applications for time extensions, culminating in a pivotal judgment by the Delhi High Court.

Court’s Decision: After considering the arguments presented and the precedence set by a batch of appeals on an identical issue, the Delhi High Court allowed the condonation of the delay. The court’s decision to set aside the impugned order dated 07.07.2017 and direct the Customs, Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal to decide the matter on merits reflects the judiciary’s commitment to justice and the principles of natural law.

Implications of the Judgment:  This judgment emphasizes the importance of judicial discretion in matters of delay and procedural lapses. By extending the time for filing an appeal, the court demonstrated an understanding of the complexities involved in legal proceedings, especially in customs disputes. Furthermore, the directive for a merit-based reconsideration by the Tribunal underscores the judicial process’s adaptability and responsiveness.

Conclusion: The Delhi High Court’s disposition of the appeal between the Commissioner of Customs ACC Import New Delhi and Kajariaceremics Ltd. marks a noteworthy moment in the legal landscape of customs disputes. It highlights the judiciary’s role in balancing procedural timeliness with the substantive justice demands. For legal practitioners and businesses alike, this case serves as a critical reminder of the significance of adhering to legal deadlines, while also acknowledging the courts’ willingness to consider exceptional circumstances.

FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF DELHI HIGH COURT

CM APPL. 4054/2024 (exemption)

Allowed, subject to all just exceptions.

CM APPL. 4055/2024 (condonation of delay)

1. The present application has been filed under Section 130(2A) of the Customs Act, 1962 seeking condonation of delay of 2267 days in filing the present appeal.

2. Learned counsel for the respondent submits that since identical issue has been decided in a batch of appeals, he has no objection to the application being allowed.

3. For the reasons stated in the application, the application is allowed and the delay of 2267 days in filing the present appeal stands condoned.

4. The application is disposed of.

Judicial Review in Customs Dispute

CUSAA 4/2024

5. Issue notice. Notice is accepted by learned counsel appearing for the respondent.

6. With the consent of the parties, appeal is taken up for final disposal today.

7. Singh has drawn our attention to the order dated 28.03.2022 passed in a batch of appeals, the lead appeal being CUSAA 20/2021, titled: Pr. Commissioner of Customs vs. Kunal Lalani, passed by a co-ordinate Bench.

8. Singh submits that via the said judgment, the aforesaid appeal and the connected appeals had been remitted to the Customs, Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal [in short “Tribunal”] after setting aside the impugned order.

9. It is also submitted, that the Court had directed the Tribunal to decide the matters on merits, having regard to the fact that the challenge to the jurisdiction of the adjudicating authority, based on the judgment of a Division Bench of this Court rendered in Mangli Impex Limited v. Union of India 2016 (335) ELT 605 (Del.) has been stayed by the Supreme Court.

10. Issue notice. Mr. Prashant Srivastava, Advocate accepts notice on behalf of the respondent. Mr. Srivastava submits that he would have no objection, if a similar direction is issued in the instant matter.

11. Accordingly, the delay in filing the appeal is condoned.

12. The impugned order dated 07.07.2017 passed by the Tribunal is set aside.

13. The Tribunal is directed to decide the matter, one way or other, on merits.

14. Thus, in effect, the directions contained in the judgment dated 28.03.2022 shall apply mutatis mutandis to this matter as well, as the question of law framed in the appeal, is identical. [See paragraph 3 of the appeal].

15. Needless to add, the decision on merits will be subject to the outcome of the decision in Mangli Impex Limited pending adjudication in the Supreme Court.

16. The appeal is disposed of in the aforesaid terms.

Download Judgment/Order

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