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M/S P.J. Steels (P) Ltd. v. Customs, Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal & Others - WRIT TAX No. 743 of 2006 [2006] RD-AH 7848 (18 April 2006)


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Court No. 36

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 743 of 2006

M/s. P.J. Steels (P) Ltd.  ------- Petitioner


Customs, Excise and Service Tax

Appellate Tribunal & Ors. ------- Respondents


Hon'ble Sushil Harkauli, J.

Hon'ble Vikram Nath, J.

We have heard both the sides.

This writ petition is a classic example of grossest abuse of the process of law. The Adjudicating Authority fixed the dates, i.e., 19.8.2002 and 27.8.2002 for personal hearing. The petitioner did not appear. According to the petitioner, he did not receive notice of the hearing. After the final adjudication order was passed on 29.8.2002, the petitioner preferred an appeal in which an interim order was passed on 18.3.2003. The petitioner did not comply with the interim order on the same excuse that he did not receive the interim order. Thereafter, dates for hearing of appeal was fixed. The petitioner did not appear on the ground  that he did not receive notices of the date of hearing. The appeal was dismissed on 30.4.2003. The petitioner applied on 1.9.2005 after more than two years for setting aside of the dismissal of the appeal. The Tribunal by the impugned order dated 17.10.2005 refused to restore the appeal.

The Tribunal has mentioned in the order, by which the  restoration has been refused, that the petitioner did not care to intimate his new address after the factory was taken over by U.P.F.C. and, therefore, the notices of hearing of the appeal was sent to the last known registered address.

The petitioner has filed this writ petition saying that he had given intimation of the changed address by a letter sent by courier. There is no such rule permitting of such change of address to be intimated by letters sent by couriers to the Tribunal. We are not aware of any such convention of the Tribunal concerned. Normally, the change of address may be intimated by means of miscellaneous application filed in the appeal.

The petitioner has also stated that he kept on writing letters to the Tribunal to intimate the progress in the appeal, but no reply was received. Unfortunately, we are also not aware of any such procedure that litigants write letters to Courts and Tribunals to intimate progress of their cases. These kind of letters are written by litigants to counsel and not by litigants to Courts and Tribunals.

For two years after hearing of the appeal, the petitioner did not bother to find out about the fate of the appeal and applied for restoration in which the recovery was said to be enforced. It is obvious that the petitioner wants to linger on the appeal.

On these flimsy excuses, and in our opinion too, the Tribunal was right in refusing to restore the appeal.

We have requested the learned counsel for the petitioner to show us as a last resort that there was any concrete merit in the appeal, which was basically against the imposition of penalty under Rule 209-A of the Central Excise Rules, 1944. We are not satisfied with any merits of the appeal inasmuch as the petitioner having accepted the demand raised by the adjudication order and having not appealed against the demand, the imposition of penalty under Rule 209-A of the Rules was fully justified.

For all these reasons, we decline to interfere in this writ petition and it is, accordingly, dismissed.




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