Bharat Marine Co. (Petitioner) challenged the Show Cause Notice (SCN) issued by the Department on the ground that the contents of the SCN discloses a pre-conceived and closed mind. It was further contended that the findings of Revenue were categorical in nature, without leaving any scope for the Petitioner to explain. The Petitioner even highlighted few of the paragraphs of the SCN to support his contentions.
The Hon’ble High Court relied on the case of SBQ Steels Ltd. Vs. Commissioner of Customs, Central Excise and Sales Tax, Guntur [2014 (300) E.L.T. 185 (A.P.) 2012- TIOL-1106-HC-AP-CX ] (“the SBQ Steels Ltd. case”), wherein the Hon’ble Andhra Pradesh High Court took exception even to use of the words “it is clear” in the SCN.
Relying on the decision of the SBQ Steels Ltd. case, the Hon’ble High Court held that if the SCN is issued with pre-determined conclusions and with closed mind, the requirement of giving an opportunity to show cause becomes nugatory. Therefore, the SCN was set aside.