Circular No. 597/34/2001-CX

F. No. 390/254/2001-JC

Government of India

Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue)

Central Board of Excise & Customs, New Delhi

Subject : Appeals before CEGAT – application for early hearing – reg.

Your attention is invited to Board Circular No. 496/62/99-CX, dated 29-11-1999 [1999 (144) E.L.T. T48] issued from F. No. 390/186/99-JC. The text of that circular is reproduced hereunder for ease of reference.

“It has come to the notice of the Board that in a number of cases, the Commissioners of Customs & Central Excise have been filing applications before the CEGAT for out of turn hearing. However, it has been brought to Board’s notice that in most of the cases, these applications do not mention any reason for seeking an early hearing, and as a result, these applications for early hearing are being dismissed by the Tribunal.

In one such case, the CEGAT’s West Regional Bench 2. at Mumbai, in its Order No. C-II/2560/99-WZB, dated 30-9-1999 in the matter ofC.C.E. v. Shri Ashok Kumar J. Agarwal has, inter alia, remarked that “the application for early hearing is bereft of reasons behind the application. A case has to be made for the applicant for an out of turn hearing”. The Tribunal has further observed that such cryptic applications do not serve the purpose for which they are made. When the SDR appearing on behalf of Commissioner tried to explain the reasons, the Bench observed that it was for the Commissioner making the application to state his reasons to move the CEGAT for an early hearing.

The above observation of the CEGAT is brought to 3. your notice for guidance and necessary corrective action. Normally, an out of turn hearing is allowed if the amount involved is very substantial or the issue is no longer res integra, or the issue is recurring in nature which may have substantial revenue implications as well. It may be appreciated that out of turn hearing could be sought and justified only where there are very pressing and genuine reasons. Tribunal may rightly not agree to entertain any such requests if these are made in routine in pending cases.

The Board, therefore, desires you to ensure that 4. applications for early and out of turn hearing are filed only in deserving cases giving proper and detailed reasons for the same.”

You may, therefore, consider 2. filing appropriate miscellaneous application in deserving cases for out of turn hearing of appeals pending before CEGAT. It should be ensured that such application should not be filed in a routine manner and due justification must be given for out of turn hearing while filing such applications.

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