IN THE CUSTOMS, EXCISE AND SERVICE TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
PRINCIPAL BENCH, NEW DELHI
COURT NO. IV
Customs Appeal No. 51249 of 2019 [DB]
Arising out of Order-in-Original No. 42/MK/Revocation/Policy/2019, Dated: 05.03.2019
Passed by the Commissioner of Customs(Airport & General), New Delhi
Date of Hearing: 06.08.2019
Date of Decision: 06.08.2019
M/s SUNRISE FREIGHT FORWARDERS PVT LTD
A-1023, SURYA BHAWAN ROAD NO. 6
VILLAGE-MAHIPALPUR NEW DELHI
COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS (AIRPORT & GENERAL)
NEW DELHI, NEW CUSTOM HOUSE NEAR IGI AIRPORT
Appellant Rep by: Dr Prabhat Kumar & Shri Arjun Malik, Advs.
Respondent Rep by: Shri Rakesh Kumar, AR
CORAM: Anil G Shakkarwar, Member (T)
Rachna Gupta, Member (J)
Cus – The assessee was found to be dealing with some prohibited goods and therefore, through an Order dated 12.02.2019 Custom Broker License of assessee was suspended under Regulation 16 and also imposed with penalty under Regulation 18 of CBLR, 2018 – There is nothing in proceedings to suggest that the assessee was put on notice for imposition of penalty under Regulation 18 of said Regulations – There is no doubt that the Commissioner is having power to impose penalty under Regulation 18, however, the said power needs to be exercised by observing principles of natural justice – Assessee was not put on notice to defend themselves against imposition of penalty – Therefore, the penalty imposed is not sustainable, same is set aside: CESTAT
FINAL ORDER NO. 51002/2019
Per: Anil G Shakkarwar:
Through impugned Order the appellants were imposed with penalty under Regulation 18 of Customs Brokers Licensing Regulation, 2018 and the said penalty of Rs.50,000/- is challenged by the appellants through the present Appeal.
2. The brief facts of the case are that the appellants were found to be dealing with some prohibited goods and, therefore, through an Order dated 12.02.2019 Custom Broker License of the appellants was suspended under Regulation 16 of the said Regulations and as provided by Regulation 16(2) of the said Regulations, an opportunity was given to the appellants by original authority to appear before him for post decisional hearing on 21.02.2019. Accordingly, the appellants appeared before the original authority on the said date and the original authority heard the appellants and passed the impugned order. Through the impugned order, the original authority revoked the suspension of Customs Broker License in respect of the appellants under the powers conferred under Regulation 16(2) of said Regulations and in addition imposed penalty of Rs.50,000/- under Regulation 18 of the said Regulations.
3. The Learned Counsel for the appellant submits that for imposition of penalty under Regulation 18 of said Regulations, the appellant was not put on notice and as a result appellant did not have opportunity to defend himself and, therefore, the said imposition of penalty is in violation of principles of natural justice.
4. The learned Authorized Representative of Revenue submitted that Commissioner has all the authority to impose penalty under Regulation 18 and Regulation 18 procedure is independent of Regulation 16.
5. After having considered submissions from both the sides and on perusal of record we note that through the proceedings we have not come across anything to suggest that the appellant were put on notice for imposition of penalty under Regulation 18 of said Regulations. The contention of Revenue is that the Commissioner is having power to impose penalty. There is no doubt that the Commissioner is having power to impose penalty under Regulation 18, however, the said power needs to be exercised by observing principles of natural justice. We find that the appellants were not put on notice to defend themselves against imposition of penalty. Therefore, we find that the penalty imposed is not sustainable. We, therefore, set aside the penalty and modify the impugned Order to that extent and allow the Appeal.
(Dictated and pronounced in the open Court)