HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Bonfiglioli Transmission (P.) Ltd.
Commissioner of Central Excise
WP NO. 1522 OF 2012
MP NOS. 1 & 2 OF 2012
JANUARY 18, 2013
1. The petitioner seeks for a writ of certiorari to call for the records in File OC. No. 08/2013, Dated 9.1.2013, issued by the second respondent and to quash the same.
2. Heard Mr. Joseph Prabakar, the learned counsel for the petitioner and Mr. K Ravichandranath, the learned Central Government Senior Standing counsel for the respondents.
3. The petitioner suffered two orders in original, viz., order in original No. 38/2010-11, dated 25.1.2011, and order-in-original No. 2/2011 dated 18.5.20111, passed by the Commissioner of Central Excise, Chennai-IV. As against these two orders the petitioner states that they have filed appeals before the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal the 3rd respondent herein and the same are pending.
4. In the meanwhile, the superintendent of Central Excise the second respondent herein passed the impugned order, dated 9.1.2013, demanding payment of duty and penalty in terms of the Orders-in-original passed by the Commissioner of Central Excise, based on circular No. 967/01/2013-CX, dated 1.1.2013, which provides for recovery, after 30 days of filing of the appeals, where no stay is granted.
5. Aggrieved by the said order, the petitioner has come up with the present writ petition raising the following grounds:
“I state that as regards order in original No. 38/2010-11 dated 27.1.2011, the reference numbers are stay Application No. E/S/237 of 2011 and Appeal No. E/380 of 2011, which were filed on 19.7.2011. I state that the Stay Application was listed on various dates but there was no sitting of the Tribunal on those dates and hence the Stay Application was not heard by the Tribunal on those days.
I state that as regards order in Original No. 2/2011 dated 18.5.2011, Stay Application No. E/S/254 of 2011 and appeal No. E/418 of 2011 were filed on 23.8.2011 and the stay Application is pending.”
6. The learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the Tribunal does not have regular sittings due to lack of Members. This is causing great hardship to the petitioner and several other assessees, who have filed appeals along with petitions for stay or waiver. In view of the absence of proper sitting of the Tribunal, prejudice is pleaded and therefore, the writ petition is filed.
7. It is now brought to the attention of this court that two members have been appointed to the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate, and they are hearing the appeals as well as the applications filed for waiver of pre-deposit or stay, as the case may be.
8. In view of the above stated position, the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal the third respondent herein, is requested to dispose of the waiver/stay applications filed by the petitioner as early as possible, preferably, on or before 1.2.2013. The respondents are directed not to take coercive steps till the waiver/stay applications of the petitioner are disposed of by the Tribunal.
9. The writ petition is ordered accordingly. However there is no order as to costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.