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09 Apr2021
  • By Admin
  • Category Goods and Service Tax
  • Views 488
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) directs SCNs issued by DRI to be kept pending until further notice. The Apex Court, through its judgment in Canon India [TS-75-SC-2021-CUST], has created turmoil in the Industry by ruling that the DRI has no power to issue Show Cause Notices the Customs Act. The SC had concluded that the entire proceeding in the said case initiated by the DRI by issuing SCN, as invalid and without any authority of law. Accordingly, the SC had set aside the SCN.
Following the said judgement, the CBIC vide Instruction No. 04/2021 – Customs dated 17 March 2021 has referred to the case of Sh. Anil Aggarwal and 11 others where the adjudication of the SCN would get barred by the limitation of time on 18 March 2021 under Section 28 of the Customs Act, on account of the inability to proceed further due to the said judgement of the SC. In respect thereto, the CBIC has instructed that fresh SCNs under Section 28 of the Customs Act, in respect of cases presently being investigated by DRI, are required to be issued by Jurisdictional Commissionerates from where imports have taken place.
MAG Comments -
While the Supreme Court's instant judgment has a far-reaching influence on the Trade and Industry, the same might be devoid of merit. The Delhi HC in the case of Mangali Impex Limited and Ors. Vs UOI [2016 (335) E.L.T. 605 (Del.)], had, among other things, held that post-amendment of the Customs Act in 2011, the DRI officers were authorised to initiate proceedings under the Act. However, the Delhi High Court's judgment's operation stayed by the Supreme Court and final decision is still awaited.
The said judgement in Canon India has added another twist to the tale of DRI jurisdiction qua Customs Act. It would now be interesting to see how the CBIC would interpret this Supreme Court's judgment.

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