Dear Professional Colleague,
Tribunal has no inherent power to put a condition for depositing an amount for adjudicating the case afresh
We are sharing with you an important judgement of the Hon’ble High Court, Andhra Pradesh, in the case of Maa Mahamaya Industries Ltd. Vs. Commissioner of Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax Visakhapatnam-I, Commissionerate [2014 (11) TMI 747 – Andhra Pradesh High Court] on following issue:
Whether the Tribunal has inherent power like Civil Court to put a condition for depositing an amount for adjudicating the case afresh?
Facts & background:
In the instant case, a Show Cause Notice was issued by the Ld. Commissioner to Maa Mahamaya Industries Ltd. (“the Appellant”) and the same was adjudicated against the Appellant. Being aggrieved, the Appellant preferred an appeal before the Hon’ble CESTAT.
The Hon’ble CESTAT after considering the facts and circumstances of the case found that the present appeal needed fresh hearing by the Ld. Commissioner. Accordingly the case was remanded back to the Ld. Commissioner with some specific directions, namely supply of materials and other things. Further, a direction was also given to the Appellant to deposit Rs. 5 crores as a condition for fresh adjudication.
Being aggrieved the Appellant preferred an appeal before the Hon’ble High Court of Andhra Pradesh and contended that unlike Civil Court, the Hon’ble Tribunal has no jurisdiction to put a condition of depositing Rs. 5 crores as a pre-condition for adjudicating the matter afresh by the Ld. Commissioner.
On the other hand, the Department submitted that the Hon’ble Tribunal direction to deposit was as a measure of security and hence the aforesaid Order was passed to meet the ends of justice.
The Hon’ble High Court of Andhra Pradesh held that the Tribunal is a creature of a Statue with specific powers mentioned in the Statute itself and there is no provision under the Statue enabling the Tribunal to ask for depositing Rs. 5 crores for adjudication and the same is without jurisdiction.
Accordingly the Hon’ble High Court directed the Ld. Commissioner to adjudicate the matter without any deposit and it was further clarified that in any event, logically question of deposit does not arise unless there is an adjudication to suffer with the liability of the Appellant.
Hope the information will assist you in your Professional endeavors. In case of any query/ information, please do not hesitate to write back to us.
Thanks & Best Regards.
FCA, FCS, LLB, B.Com (Hons)Flat No. 34B, Ground Floor, Pocket - 1, MayurVihar, Phase - I,
Delhi – 110091, India
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