Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise & Customs, New Delhi
Subject: Review of adverse CEGAT Orders – Need for filing of the CAs expeditiously, wherevernecessary.
The Board has been concerned about the delay in filing of CAs against the adverse CEGAT Orders and with the fact that the Supreme Court has not been condoning such delays and has been dismissing the Revenue appeals without going into the merits of the case. The Board has been emphasising the need for expeditious submission of C.A. proposals and recently it has issued instructions vide Cir. No. 402/35/98-CX (F.No. 390/107/97-JC) dated 9th June, 1998 emphasising against the need for submission of CA proposals, complete in all respects, within 10 days of the receipt of the CEGAT Orders.
In the above matter, recently Attorney General for India has also expressed his concern over delay in a case and had written to the Hon”ble F.M. who observed that this was quite serious. The Deputy Govt. Advocate has also written to the CBEC. Copies of their communications are enclosed herewith. Secretary (Revenue) has also desired, considering the A.G.”s letter, an immediate compilation of lists of all such cases for the last two years where such defaults have occurred. Whereas the list is under preparation, it has been desired that the Commissioners may note again the imperative need for processing and submission of all CA proposals, complete in all respects, expeditiously within 10 days of the receipt of the CEGAT Orders. In case of any delay, day-to-day chart for the delay, which could not be avoided, as well as the detailed explanation for the delay and necessary action taken in the matter, must be submitted to the Board without fail.
I am directed to say that the Commissioners should personally ensure careful monitoring and timely submission of CA proposals wherever CEGAT Order is found to be not acceptable for justifiable reasons.
Receipt of this communication should be acknowledged.
ENCL : As Above
Copy to : All Chief Commissioners (By Name)
The Board desires that they must closely monitor the position in this regard and ensure timely review of all CEGAT Orders and submission of Civil Appeal proposals, Wherever required, in all cases within 10 days to the Board. Any delay must be viewed seriously for fixing responsibility and taking appropriate action against the concerned officers.
Ministry of Law & Justice
Department of Legal Affairs
Central Agency Section
New Delhi dated 17th August, 1998
The Member (L & J)
Central Board of Excise & Customs,
Department of Revenue,
Attention: Shri P.N. Malhotra
Subject: SLP (C) No. ……….. /98- UOI & Ors. vs. M/s Hindon Rubbers Pvt. Ltd. & Anr.
The above matter was listed before the Supreme Court on 31.7.98. On behalf of Department Shri Soli J. Sorabjee, Attorney General of India engaged to argue the matter. Since there was delay of 310 days in filing the SLP the Court dismissed the SLP on the ground of delay.
In this connection, Shri Soli J. Sorabjee has given a detailed note in which he has indicated that the Department has excellent case on merits in as much as the appeal on which the High Court had relied for quashing the Show-Cause Notice was subsequently reversed by the Supreme Court. The learned Attorney General has desired that thorough enquiry be instituted into the causes for the delay in filing the SLPs and appeals beyond the period of limitation in the instant case. I am enclosing herewith relevant dates of proceedings the matter at the various levels.
Further, I wish to mention that the impugned judgement of the High Court was pronounced on 15.5.97 and the certified copy was applied on 8th Sept. 1997. Thereafter, the file was sent to the Ministry of Law sometime in January, 1998, for opinion. The learned Attorney General, further is of the view that the enquiry should start at level of Collectorate. A copy of Note dated 10.8.98 issued by Learned Attorney General is enclosed herewith.
Central Agency Section
S.L.P. (C) No. 12825 of 1998
(C.C. No. 5170 of 1998)
(from the judgement & Order dated 15.5.97
of Allahabad High Court in Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 1072/83)
Union of India & Ors. vs. M/s Hindon Rubber (P) Ltd. and Another
Relevant Dates of Processing of the Matter at Various Offices
|15.5.97||Judgement & Order impugned was pronounced.|
|8.9.97||Certified copy of judgement was applied for.|
|9.9.97||Certified copy of the judgement was delivered.|
|15.9.97||Asstt. Commissioner Ghaziabed sent certified copy of judgement with comments to Commissioner ate, Allahabad.|
|8.10.97||Commissionerate, Allahabad sent comments and the certified copy to CBEC, New Delhi|
|21.11.97||CBEC asked Commissionerate to depute an officer conversant with the case to come with record of the case.|
|9.1.98||CBEC sent the file with its views to Ministry of Law.|
|15.1.98||Ministry of Law asked CBEC to place on file copies of Writ Petition and Counter Affidavit for proper examination of the matter.|
|27.2.98||Ministry of Law sent the file to Central Agency Section for obtaining opinion of one of the Law Officers as to fitness of the case for filing SLP.|
|2.3.98||Dy. Govt. Advocate sent the file to Addl. Solicitor General.|
|11.3.98||Addl. Solicitor General opined that it was fit case for filing SLP.|
|6.3.98||Central Agency Section sent the file to panel counsel for drafting SLP and application for codonation of delay.|
|13.4.98||Panel counsel submitted draft SLP, etc. to Central Agency Section .|
|15.4.98||Central Agency Section sent draft SLP, etc. to CBEC for vetting.|
|14.5.98||Vetted draft were received in Central Agency Section from CBEC.|
|19.6.98||SLP was filed after getting the papers cyclostyled and preparation of paper-book.|
Office of the Attorney General for India
Subject: SLP (C) No. __________________________ / 98 Union of India & Ors.
M/s Hindon Rubbers Pvt. Ltd. & Anr.
It is distressing to find SLPs and statutory appeals from orders of CEGAT have been dismissed by the Supreme Court on account of inordinate delay in filing the same and without any satisfactory explanation given for the delay. The classic case is that of a statutory appeal in the matter of Union of India & Ors. vs. M/s Hindon Rubbers Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. The Department had an excellent case on merits inasmuch as the judgement on which the High Court had relied for quashing the show cause notice was subsequently reversed by the Supreme Court. Regrettably, there was delay of about 310 days for which there was no credible explanation and the Supreme Court refused to condone the delay.
In the past also I had drawn attention to this phenomenon but no serious steps appear to have been taken.
I think, time has come to have thorough enquiry instituted into the causes for the delay in filing the SLPs and appeals beyond the period of limitation. The enquiry should start at the level of the Collectorate and must identify the persons responsible for the delay. Huge losses are incurred by the Revenue on account of inaction and negligence about filing the SLPs and statutory appeals in time.