Challenge to Summons is premature, as it only calls upon the addressees to appear before the officials for a preliminary hearing: Madras HC

Challenge to summons - Madras High court - Taxscan

The Madras High Court refused to interfere on the ground that the challenge to summons is premature, as it only calls upon the addressees to appear before the officials for a preliminary hearing.

This Writ Petition has been filed by Larsen & Toubro Limited challenging summons issued to nine officials of the petitioner company in terms of Section 108 of the Customs Act, 1962 calling upon the attendance of the addressees therein before the officials on various dates. The summons are challenged on the ground that the merits of the transactions sought to be enquired into, relate to the taxability of Tunnel Boring Machines used for executing infrastructure products and the said issue is pending before the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR), at the instance of this petitioner. The petitioner would thus state that since the AAR is seized of this very issue, the authorities should await the decision of the AAR before proceeding further, if at all.

The High court opined that this request should be made before the authorities for their consideration, in accordance with law.

The division bench of Justice Anita Sumanth said, “the challenge to the summons itself is premature, insofar as it only calls upon the addressees to appear before the officials for a preliminary hearing. One cannot assume or hypothesize on what the purpose of the summons is and I am thus loathe to interfere, at this juncture.”

The court reiterated that since the matter is pending at the stage of summons, it is for the parties to take things forward in a proper manner and in accordance with law, bearing in mind that proper procedure and protocol should be followed in matters of conduct of enquiry, investigation and adjudication.

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