Circular No. 453/19/99-CX
Government of India
Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue,
Central Board of Excise and Customs (Judicial Cell),
Subject : Requirement of filing cross objections in CEGAT and of sending comments to the CDR by the concerned Commissioners in cases involving law points or revenue of more than Rs. 20 Lakhs.
It has been brought to the notice of the Board that the Commissioners of Customs and Central Excise in the field are generally neither filling Cross Objections under Section 35B (4) of the Central Excise Act or Section 129A (4) of the Customs Act against the appeals filed by the assessees/importers in CEGAT, nor they are sending comments on such appeals – even where stakes has often to seek comments in specific cases, specially where the contentions of the appellant relating to claimed facts may need checking, particularly in cases involving substantial revenues. Pending receipt of such comments, they have to seek repeated adjournments from the Tribunal – which are not always agreed to.
2. The Board feels that the comments of the Commissionerate on the basic issue raised by the appellant could be of great value and help to our Departmental representatives in projecting our view point and in countering the appellant”s contentions. It is recognised that considering large number of appeals being filed, this exercise if insisted in all cases could lead to significant work for some of the Commissionerate. However, to protect the interests of revenue, it is very necessary that a feedback on questions of facts/law raised is available at least in important cases to our CDRs/JCDRs/SDRs, for proper and effective defence.
3. After careful consideration Board has decided that the Commissioners shall, henceforth, ensure quick critical examination undertaken of Appeals filed by parties in CEGAT relating to their charge, in all cases involving important law points and revenue of more than Rs. 20 lakhs each and
1.file a memorandum of Cross Objections in the Tribunal with copy to the concerned CDR/JCDR/SDR (regional benches), within 45 days of receipt of notice from CEGAT (as per Sec. 35B (4) or Sec. 129A (4) of Central Excise & Customs Act) or
2.send their considered comments (alongwith relevant document copies) to the CDR/JCDR/SDR in the Regional Benches as the case may be, in the aforesaid period of 45 days, without waiting for any specific requests from the Departmental Representatives.
4. Board also desires that if any specific request is made from the CDR/JCDR/SDR office for furnishing comments on the memorandum of appeal or for clarifications on the specific issues involved in any particular cases, the same should be attended to expeditiously so that Departmental view points can be projected properly, and revenue interests duly safeguarded. All Chief Commissioners of Central Excise & Customs (incharge of Commissionerates) may please ensure that these instructions are complied with scrupulously in their jurisdiction.
Deputy Secretary (Review)
Central Board of Excise & Customs