Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise & Customs, New Delhi
Subject:- Review of Hon”ble Supreme Court decision – instructions regarding…
It has come to the notice of the Board that Commissioner forward in certain cases proposals for review of the Supreme Court decisions which are adverse to revenue. These proposals in most cases do not give any detailed reasons with facts and earlier case laws on the issues which may justify the Hon”ble Court being approached for a review/ reconsideration of their order. Copies of the relevant documents on records, various judgements, copies of authoritative opinion of experts/ trade organisations/ bodies or extracts from authentic technical books etc. which supports the Department”s view point but whose cognisance has not been taken are also often not forwarded. It has also been observed that the review proposals are, very often, received very late, that is, much after the expiry of period of 30 days from the date of the issue of the S.C. decision – the time limit within which a review petition can be filed.
2. The Board observes that proposals for review of Supreme Court decisions/ orders should be made after very careful consideration and not in a routine way. These should be made only in exceptional cases where the Chief Commissioner/ Commissioner feels that a request for review/ re-consideration is fully justified as the Hon”ble Court”s decision is likely to upset the set practices of classification/ valuation or interpretation of particular statutory provisions established due to earlier decisions of judical bodies including the Apex Court apart from having very adverse impact on Government revenues. A very critical study of the decisions vis-a-vis individual assessee”s records and established practices, should also be undertaken to check if the Court has not taken into consideration any crucial facts on record or the Court has prima facie, been mislead by presentation of particular fact by the assessee leading to a judgement adverse to the Department involving heavy revenue. The recurring effect on other cases which may get decided by Tribunal/ Courts etc. on the basis of the impugned judgement should also be analysed.
3. Commissioners while seeking a review in such cases and sending proposals must ensure that these are self contained and complete in all respects with all necessary enclosures, and fully legible documents and a note specifying the grounds for review in detail.
4. An appeal for review where considered warranted by the Government has to be filed in the Supreme Court within 30 days of the issuance of the Supreme Court order against which review appeal is being filed. The Supreme Court is not normally condoning the delay unless very strong reasons exist and unless day-to-day explanation for the entire period of delay is submitted. The Board itself would need minimum 3 weeks to examine any proposals for taking ultimate decision for review and filing the review appeal. It has to approach the Law Ministry and after Law Ministry”s clearance to consult Law Officer for his written opinion and thereafter refer the case to the Law Ministry for making out the review appeal and then filing the same through the Central Agency Section in the Supreme Court. The Chief Commissioner/ Commissioner”s review proposal, complete in all respects must, therefore, be received in the Board”s office within 10 days of the issuance of the Supreme Court order against which the review proposals are being made.
5. In case there is may delay in any particular case in the submission of the proposal, as aforesaid, a day-to-day chart explaining the delay must accompany the proposal.
6. The above instructions should be noted for strict compliance by all Chief Commissioner/ Commissioners in their jurisdiction.