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Case Law Details

Case Name : Commissioner of Customs (Appeals-II) Vs Vijayraj Surana (Madras High Court)
Appeal Number : W.A. No. 1763 of 2021
Date of Judgement/Order : 17/08/2021
Related Assessment Year :
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Commissioner of Customs Vs Vijayraj Surana (Madras High Court)

Conclusion: The present appeal was filed against the Order of the Single Judge of the Hon’ble Madras High Court, wherein the Writ was allowed by stating that the request of cross examination shall not be denied, but in Appeal the Division Bench allowed the appeal of Revenue and have sustained the Order of Revenue for denial for cross examination due to availability of alternative remedy.

Held: The Respondent filed the writ petition challenging the Order-in-Appeal passed by the first appellant dated 29.09.2016, and for a direction to the second appellant to adjudicate the case afresh after permitting examination (cross examination) of persons, whose statements were relied on in the show cause notice dated 09.04.2015. The learned Single Bench, by order dated 11.06.2019, disposed of the writ petition with an observation that the respondent-writ petitioner can be granted an opportunity to cross examine three witnesses and set aside the order passed by the first appellant in Order-in-Appeal dated 29.09.2016.

In present facts of the case, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) developed specific intelligence that M/s.Surana Corporation Limited, Chennai (hereinafter referred to as “M/s.SCL”) of which, the respondent-writ petitioner was the Managing Director, have been procuring gold bars of foreign origin, which were smuggled into India and selling the same to various persons without proper invoices/bills. This information led to an investigation, which culminated in issuance of a show cause notice under Section 124 of the Customs Act, 1962 (hereinafter referred to as “the 1962 Act”). The first noticee was M/s.SCL, the second noticee was the respondent and there were eight other noticees of whom, three of them are the persons, who have been named by the respondent-writ petitioner that he should be permitted to cross examine them.

The show cause notice has elaborately set out the entire facts and the statements, which were recorded from the various persons including the noticees during the course of investigation. The respondent-writ petitioner submitted his reply dated 22.09.2015 and in paragraph 31 of the reply, the respondent stated that he wants to be heard in person before the case is decided and would also like to cross examine Damodharan, C.Maheswaran and Abdul Azeez. But the request was denied.

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