Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise & Customs, New Delhi
Subject: Appeals in CEGAT- Submission of relevant files by the field formations to CDR- Regarding.
Kindly find enclosed herewith a copy of communication F. No. 282/ 96 CEGAT dt. 7.2.96 alongwith its enclosures from CEGAT on the subject mentioned above.
You may observe that the President, CEGAT has observed that the files relevant to the appeals are rarely sent by the lower authorities to the CDR”s office, unless specifically called for. Consequently, the Departmental Representatives are deprived of the opportunity of making effective submissions in support of Department”s case. Therefore, many a times the old cases are adjourned for the purpose of obtaining record or verifying the existence of the record from the Department.
In the aforesaid regard, I am directed to say that it is necessary that the Commissioners, to whom notices of filing appeals are sent, ensure that the relevant records are collected and forwarded to the CDR, to enable the Departmental Representative to study the paper”s beforehand. Further, in important cases an officer well conversant with the case may also be deputed to brief the Departmental Representatives.
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West Block No. 2, R.K. Puram, New Delhi – 110066
The Private Secretary to the Chairman,
Central Board of Excise and Customs
As I directed by the Hon”ble President of the Tribunal, I am enclosing herewith a Photostat copy of the order passed in appeal No. C/3751/87-A, M/s Sudhir Diamonds v. Collector of Customs, Bombay for information and necessary action by the CBEC.
In the Customs, Excise & Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal
Appeal No. C/3751/87- A
|M/s Sudhir Diamonds||……………………………………||
Collector of Customs, Bombay
Represented by Mrs. Ruchira Pant, SDR
The appellant is absent but has sent a letter reiterating the contention that the appellant was not given an opportunity of personal hearing and was not allowed to cross-examine the experts. Appellant has produced a copy of a letter dated 25.4.86 purportedly sent to the customs house demanding a personal hearing and opportunity of such cross- examination. Smt. Ruchira Pant, SDR, states that neither the Assistant Collector not the Collector (Appeals) has sent the relevant file to her and therefore, she is not in a position of verify whether appellant had sent such a letter at all. To a query put by us, she stated that the files relevant to the appeals are rarely sent by the lower authorities to the CDR”s office, unless specifically called for. We are disturbed by this state of affairs which deprives the Departmental Representatives of the opportunity of making effective submissions in support of the Department”s case. We have seen it is occurring in many cases and we have to adjourn old cases for the purpose of obtaining record or verifying the existence of record from the Department.
2. If the Government or the Central Board of Excise and Customs is interested in ensuring that the Department interest is properly and effectively defended, it is necessary that they must devise a system by which the Collector to whom notice of filing the appeal is sent, takes care to collector the records and forward the same to the Chief Departmental Representative to enable the departmental Representatives to stay all the papers and also whenever necessary, the Tribunal to peruse. It is not in every case that we will be in a position to grant adjournment for the purpose of securing records. There must be an arrangement by which a system is established to ensure that records reach the officer of the Chief Departmental Representative, without the necessity of calling for such records. This is the system prevailing in courts and other tribunals. It is necessary that the authorities concerned do something in the matter. It is equally necessary that the Department which receives notice of filing of the appeal, evolves a system by which a Departmental officer studies the case and memorandum of appeal and wherever appropriate, prepares instructions for the guidance of the Departmental Representatives who appear before the Tribunal. A copy of this order will be forwarded to the Central Board of Excise and Customs, New Delhi for information and necessary action.
3. The appeal is adjourned to 27th March, 1996.