Appellant to approach HC only when all the objections raised before the Authority who issued SCN: Delhi High Court [Read Order]

Appellant - Authority - SCN - Delhi High court - Taxscan

The Delhi High Court ruled that the appellant should first raise all the objections before the Authority who have issued the show-cause notice and in case any adverse order is passed against the appellant, then liberty has been granted to approach the High Court.

The petitioner, M/s New Era Trading Pvt. Ltd. prayed before the court to issue a writ of Certiorari quashing the show cause notice dated January 24, 2020 being time barred as per provisions of Section 28 of the Custom Act,1962.

Mr.Prem Rajan, counsel appearing for the petitioner contended that show cause notice (SCN) issued by respondent authority is barred by time and Respondent Authority does not have the power, jurisdiction and authority to issue the aforementioned SCN.

As per the respondent authority the petitioner had fraudulently availed Special Focus Market Scheme (SFMS) benefits by producing forged house BLs and Landing Certificate, wherein consignee country was deliberately mis-declared by them for availing undue benefits under the Scheme.

It was alleged that during the course of investigation, it was found that in TR-1 and TR-2 copies of shipping bills, port of discharge and country of destination were found manually changed and forwarded to Additional Commissioner of Customs, Exports and filed.

The port of discharge had been manually changed to Jebel Ali from Bandar Abbas, Awassa and Sudan and the country of destination had been manually changed to Dubai and the same were endorsed with the customs stamp.

It was further alleged that the amendments were wilfully done and the export goods did not correspond with the material particulars with regard to the port of discharge and country of destination.

On enquiry with the freight forwarder and the custom broker, it was revealed that amendments were done and the goods were diverted and despite the fact that the goods never reached the country mentioned in the shipping bills, the Landing Certificate was issued to obtain the SFMS benefits, despite knowing that the petitioner was not eligible for the same.

The division bench headed by the Chief Justice and Justice Jyoti Singh noted that since the matter is at the stage of SCN, which in our prima facie opinion is not time barred, especially looking to Section 28 AAA of the Customs Act, 1962 and the facts of this case.

The court said that it is open to the petitioner to file a reply in response to the SCN and a decision shall be taken thereafter by the respondents, in accordance with law and taking into account the stand of the petitioner. It is also open to the petitioner to raise the grounds taken in the present petition in reply to the SCN including the objection to the jurisdiction, power and authority of the concerned respondent to issue the SCN which is one of the grounds urged in the petition.

The court directed the Respondents authority to take a decision pursuant to the SCN dated January 24, 2020 in accordance with law, Rules, Regulations and Government Policies applicable to the facts of the case and also keeping in mind the evidence on record, as early as possible and practicable. The issues raised herein with respect to the SCN being time barred, applicability of Section 28(1) or Section 28AAA as well as the jurisdiction of the concerned authority are also left open to be decided by the concerned respondent.

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