Refund can’t be denied since Assessment was not Challenged: Bombay HC allows Plea by Micromax [Read Judgment]

Micromax - Taxscan

While granting relief to the Micromax Informatics Limited, a division bench of the Bombay High Court held that refund cannot be denied merely because the assessment orders were not challenged by the assessee.

Petitioner Company imported mobile handsets under the various bill of entries filed during the period between July 2014 to June 2015. On such imports, the Petitioner had made payment of additional duty of customs commonly referred to CVD at the rate of 7.21% till 28th February 2015 and for the period post 1st, March 2015; the Petitioner had paid such duty at the rate of 13.5% as prescribed.

The department had a view that the benefit of exemption notification dated 17th March 2012 would not be available to import of goods.

However, the Apex Court in case of M/s SRF Limited Vs. CC, Chennai held that the benefit of the above notification would be available also in case of the importers.

On basis of the above decision, the petitioners challenged the orders passed by the department rejecting the Petitioner’s refund claims for the period between July 2014 to June 2015.

On behalf of the department, it was contended that the petition is premature since the competent authority has allowed the Petitioner to resubmit the refund claims after getting the bill of entries reassessed.

The contentions were rejected by the bench comprising Justices M S Sanklecha and Akil Kureshi. The bench pointed out that the refund claims were rejected on the ground that the assessment orders were not challenged.

“In paragraph No.12 of the order he has recorded that the refund claim is not maintainable in terms of reasons discussed in paragraph No.6(A) (B) and (C) above and these paragraph No.6(A)(B) and (C) are confined to the single objection of the Department namely that without having assessment orders set aside, no refund claim would be maintainable. The impugned order thus effectively dismisses the Petitioner’s refund claim finally. The Petitioner has contended before us and which contention we have accepted that there is no question of challenging the self-assessed bill of entries. Equally, her contention that other issues are not examined is also not correct. As noted in the first deficiency memo, the Department has cited as many as 10 defects in the refund application. Once the Petitioner replied to such communication in detail, in subsequent communications the authority confined his objection only to the question of the assessment not having been revised or set aside. Thus, all other objections of not supplying documents or details were waived or can be seen to have been satisfied through correspondence,” the bench said.

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