Manufacture or Production of Marketable excisable goods is the event for levy of Excise Duty. But the collection of duty is postponed till the time of actual removal of goods from the place of manufacture.
As far as Filing of return is concerned as per Rule 12 of Central Excise Rules, 2002, every assessee is required to submit a monthly return of production and removal of goods and other relevant particulars, within ten days after the close of the month to which the return relates.
Ignorance of laws made for the purpose is not a good excuse to avoid penal provisions. Moreover, it seems that there is no specific provision for penalty on late filing of Central Excise Return. Hence, department seems to be correct in imposing the penalty of under Rule 27, which is the general penalty.