Case Law Details

Case Name : Hindustan Unilever Limited Vs Union of India & Ors. (Delhi High Court)
Appeal Number : W.P.(C) No. 378/2019
Date of Judgement/Order : 16/01/2019
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (5096) Delhi High Court (1448)

Hindustan Unilever Limited Vs Union of India & Ors. (Delhi High Court)

The issue pertains to Anti Profiteering order passed against HUL whereunder it was directed to deposit Rs.233 Crores. In the Writ Petition filed against the said order, the Delhi HC passed the following interim orders

In view of the submissions and contentions raised, we direct that the petitioner shall deposit Rs. 90 crores with the Central Consumer Welfare Fund in two instalments of Rs. 50 crores and Rs. 40 crores which would be paid on or before 15th March, 2019 and 15th May, 2019 respectively. We have passed the said direction after we have been informed that the petitioner has already deposited Rs. 160 crores. While computing the said figure, we have also taken into account the amounts mentioned in the afore-quoted chart.

FULL TEXT OF THE HIGH COURT JUDGMENT / ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:

We have heard learned Senior Advocate for the petitioner and the learned Additional Solicitor General, who has entered appearance on behalf of the respondents. Learned senior counsel for the petitioner, during the course of hearing, has filed the following chart before us:

S.No. Issue Amount(in crores)
1 Amount denied on extra grammage being claimed Rs. 27.77
2 Amount refunded to Modern Trade Dealers but being denied Rs. 26.37
3 Loss in North East Exemption being denied Rs. 45.31
4 Packing material with old MRP written off Rs. 7.80
5 Tax on Tax demanded Rs. 63.99
6 Amount recovered from Dealers and  deposited with the Government  being demanded again Rs. 36.25
7 TRAN-2 credit Rs. 78.97

A number of issues and contentions have been raised on each of the seven issues mentioned in the aforesaid chart. We need not elaborate upon and go into the said aspects at this stage since the matter does require consideration and response from the respondents.

Regarding serial no. 6, it is pointed out that an amount of Rs. 36.25 crores has already been deposited with the Government, which fact is not disputed. With regard to serial no. 7, it is the contention of the petitioner that TRAN-2 credit was made available in March, 2018, therefore the impugned order is erroneous. On serial no. 3 i.e. loss in North- East

Exemption, our attention was drawn to paragraph No. 69 of the petition to submit that the reduction in compensation has not been accounted for and has been treated as irrelevant. On sale of products to ‘Modern Trade Dealers’, evidence was produced but the insistence was that the consumer sale price by the customers of the ‘Modern Trade Dealers’ should be produced.

Learned counsel for the respondents has contested the submission and on the last aspect submitted that the documents on the amount refunded to Modern Trade Dealers have not been duly certified.

In view of the submissions and contentions raised, we direct that the petitioner shall deposit Rs. 90 crores with the Central Consumer Welfare Fund in two instalments of Rs. 50 crores and Rs. 40 crores which would be paid on or before 15th March, 2019 and 15th May, 2019 respectively. We have passed the said direction after we have been informed that the petitioner has already deposited Rs. 160 crores. While computing the said figure, we have also taken into account the amounts mentioned in the afore-quoted chart.

Subject to the said deposit, no coercive steps would be taken in proceedings pursuant to the impugned order. Penalty proceeding would be kept in abeyance.

However, investigation, as directed, would continue and orders may be passed. It will be open for the petitioner to file an application in the present writ petition or a fresh writ petition in case of an adverse order in such investigation.

Counter-affidavit would be filed within six weeks.

Rejoinder to the aforesaid counter-affidavit would be filed within four

weeks thereafter.

Re-list on 16th April, 2019.

Dasti under signature of the Court Master.

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