Appeal to Supreme Court – Filingof Civil Appeal against CEGAT orders involving rate of duty and valuation – Review/Scrutiny of CEGAT orders by theCommissioners – Instructions

Please refer to the various instructions issued by the Board from time to time particularly Circular No. 313/29/97-CX, dated 6-5-1997, Circular No. 319/35/97-CX, dated 27-6-1997 [See 1997 (93) E.L.T. T31] and Circular No. 476/42/99-CX, dated 3-8-1999 [See 1999 (112) E.L.T. T7].

2.  It has been laid down in the above circulars that only those cases, with proposals for filing civil appeals, have to be referred to the Board wherein CEGAT orders are adverse to the Department and are not considered to be acceptable. In addition, all CEGAT orders of Larger Bench which are not fovourable to the Department, even if considerable acceptable, are also required to be sent to the Board with comments of the Commissioners and the Chief Commissioners.

3.  It is, however, noticed by the Board that in a number of cases Commissioners are sending copies of even those CEGAT orders which are not favourable (whole or in part) but which have been accepted by them after careful examination and where no civil appeals to the Supreme Court are proposed. No reasons for referring such orders to the Board are even indicated.

4.  It is, therefore, once again reiterated that if after scrutinizing of a CEGAT order Commissioners feel that the same is legal and proper, it need not be referred to the Board except for the cases of Larger Bench adverse orders – as instructed under the aforesaid circulars. In case of any doubts about acceptability of any adverse order of single/two – member Bench, Commissioners can refer the matter to their Chief Commissioner, who can take a view and refer the case to the Board in case he feels that the order may need to be appealed against Supreme Court, giving justification for the same.

5.  It is also noticed by the Board that despite repeated instructions, in a number of cases the different columns in the format for the civil appeal proposals are not filled up and legible attested copies of the Annexures are not sent. This leads to avoid correspondence/telephonic calls with resultant delay in filing of the civil appeals, (sic) has been resulted in a good number of our appeals being rejected by the Apex Court. Government and even Supreme Court is taking a serious view of such delays and in number of cases Commissioners have already been instructed to fix responsibility. You are, therefore, once again requested to ensure that all proposals emanating from your jurisdiction are carefully scrutinized before sending same to the Board and it should be specifically checked that the proposal is complete in all respects and is accompanied by attested legible copies of the relevant order-in-appeal, order-in-original, S.C.N., relied upon judgment and other relevant documents. In cases where submission of proposal gets delayed for reasons beyond control, a time chart giving day to day progress of processing and reasons for delay should also be sent invariably with the proposals so that the delay can be suitably explained to the Supreme Court if it is decided to file an appeal.

6.  The above instructions may be followed scrupulously and any lapses which result in delays in filing of our appeals and jeopardise revenue interests will be viewed seriously by the Board.

Source : C.B.E. & C. Circular no. 488/54/99-JC, dated 12-10-1999

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