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M/S Rajesh Paper Mills Ltd. v. Union Of India Thru' Secretary Finance & Others - WRIT TAX No. 609 of 2006  RD-AH 7117 (3 April 2006)
Civil Misc. W.P. (Tax) No. 609 of 2006
Hon'ble Sushil Harkauli, J.
Hon'ble Vikram Nath, J.
We have heard learned counsel for the petitioner and Sri Ajay Bhanot for the respondents.
According to the circular dated 2.5.1996 and more importantly, the trade notice dated 17.12.1997, enclosed as annexures 5 and 7 to this writ petition, it appears that the government has delegated to Commissioners, the power to grant facility of payment of central excise dues in up to 36 monthly instalments in individual cases on merits. By the impugned order dated 13.3.2006, the Assistant Commissioner has said that he does not have the power to grant instalments and has, therefore, rejected the prayer for instalments made by the petitioner and has required the petitioner to pay the entire outstanding dues within 15 days.
In view of the aforesaid circular and trade notice, it appears prima facie that the Commissioner has the power to examine the merits, and if merit justifies, then to grant liberty of payment in up to 36 monthly instalments. Therefore, even if the Assistant Commissioner did not have the power to grant instalments, he should have forwarded the file to the Commissioner, instead of rejecting the prayer of the petitioner.
In the circumstances, we set-aside the order dated 13.3.2006 and require the Assistant Commissioner to forward the file to the Commissioner as aforesaid, for considering the request of the petitioner on merits.
The writ petition is disposed of with the aforesaid directions.
Dated : April 3, 2006
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