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CX - Revenue seeks quashing of decision of Tribunal cited by AA - Committee is apparently not cognizant of principles governing appropriate remedy: CESTAT

By TIOL News Service

MUMBAI, APRIL 21, 2017: THIS is a Revenue appeal filed in the year 2006.

Issue in dispute is the classification of 'C4 raffinate (return stream)' with duty implication of Rs.94,87,425/-. Proceedings were initiated against appellant for failure to file classification list.

The CCE, Belapur held that the 'return stream' product was not an input or partially processed input but a product that is classifiable under CETAheading 2711.12. The duty liability was confirmed with penalty but in appeal the CESTATremanded the matter with specific direction to the original authority to await the classification of the incoming stream.

In remand proceedings, going by the finding in re M/s Indian Petrochemical Corporation Ltd - 2005-TIOL-147-CESTAT-AHM that 'C-4 raffinate is not distinguished by any specific proportion of isomers of butylenes but is a mix and, for classification under 2711.12, the composition has to be at least 70% pure isomer of butylenes while raffinate, being a mix of various isomers of butylenes, the adjudicating authority (AA), by the impugned order-in-original dropped proceedings.

Aggrieved, Revenue is in appeal. It is inter alia contended that the decision supra has been challenged before the Supreme Court in West Coast Paper Mills - 2004-TIOL-14-SC-LMT-LB , holding that an appeal entertained by the Supreme Court would jeopardize the judgments of High Courts or the Tribunal.

The AR supported the stand taken by the department in the SCNs. None appeared for assessee.

The Bench observed -

+ We find that the original authority has followed the decision of the Tribunal in classification of 'C-4 raffinate'. Nothing could be further from illegality and impropriety than such a respectful adherence to the law of the land, no matter how fleeting and ephemeral it may be, and it certainly does not behove the reviewing authority to casually dismiss the findings of the Tribunal in such an airy manner.

+ The Hon'ble Supreme Court, by its stature as the apex of the judicial branch of the Government, can term the judgment of a High Court or Tribunal as in jeopardy when it has accepted the jurisdiction in appeal against such impugned orders. For the Committee of Chief Commissioners to adopt such expressions, as are used in a context by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, while placing itself before the appellate jurisdiction of the Tribunal is asolecism that borders on contempt with appropriately grave consequences.

+ The entire proceedings of the review committee is devoted to a critique of the order of the Tribunal in re M/s Indian Petrochemical Corporation Ltd which the impugned order has rightly relied upon. In doing so, Revenue seeks quashing of a decision of the Tribunal. The proper authority to submit to for such a consummation is not the Tribunal. It is also moot whether exercise of jurisdiction to review the order of a Commissioner in re Maharashtra Polybutene Ltd can be extended to review of a decision by any authority in another matter.

Continuing with the lambasting of the reviewing authority in a couple of more paragraphs, the CESTAT concluded that since the appeal itself is without any challenge to the legality and propriety of the impugned order, the same is required to be dismissed.

The Revenue appeal was dismissed.

(See 2017-TIOL-1338-CESTAT-MUM)


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