Classic cases of frequent invocation of extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, even though two, inbuilt efficacious alternative remedies are provided by the Act, 1988
All contentions including that of powers conferred upon Adjudicating Authority under Section 26(1) (3) and whether such powers conferred upon Adjudicating Authority vis-a-vis jurisdiction, all can be raised before Appellate Tribunal exercising vide appellate powers under Section 46 of the Act 1988. Even after the order is passed by the Appellate Tribunal further appeal is provided before the High Court under Section 49 of the Act 1988, we are of the considered opinion in view of decision of the Apex Court in the case of Thansingh Nathmal & Ors. vs. A. Mazid reported in AIR 1964 SC 1419 and 1964 (6) SCR 654 that High Court is not to interfere with the order passed by the Adjudicating or Competent Authority when inbuilt efficacious alternative remedies are available.
Customs Valuation (Determination of Value of Imported Goods) Rules, 2007: Rule 4 to 9 and 12:
The requirements of Rule 12, therefore, can be summarised as under:
(a) The proper officer should have reasonable doubt as to the transactional value on account of truth or accuracy of the value declared in relation to the imported goods.
(b) Proper officer must ask the importer of such goods further information which may include documents or evidence;
(c) On receiving such information or in the absence of response from the importer, the proper officer has to apply his mind and decide whether or not reasonable doubt as to the truth or accuracy of the value so declared persists.
(d) When the proper officer does not have reasonable doubt, the goods are cleared on the declared value.
(e) When the doubt persists, sub-rule (1) to Rule 3 is not applicable and transaction value is determined in terms of Rules 4 to 9 of the 2007 Rules.
(f) The proper officer can raise doubts as to the truth or accuracy of the declared value on ‘certain reasons’ which could include the grounds specified in clauses (a) to (f) in clause (iii) of the Explanation.
(g) The proper officer, on a request made by the importer, has to furnish and intimate to the importer in writing the grounds for doubting the truth or accuracy of the value declared in relation to the imported goods. Thus, the proper officer has to record reasons in writing which have to be communicated when requested.
(h) The importer has to be given opportunity of hearing before the proper officer finally decides the transactional value in terms of Rules 4 to 9 of the 2007 Rules.
16. Proper officer can therefore reject the declared transactional value based on ‘certain reasons’ to doubt the truth or accuracy of the declared value in which event the proper officer is entitled to make assessment as per Rules 4 to 9 of the 2007 Rules. What is meant by the expression “grounds for doubting the truth or accuracy of the value declared” has been explained and elucidated in clause (iii) of Explanation appended to Rule 12 which sets out some of the conditions when the ‘reason to doubt’ exists. The instances mentioned in clauses (a) to (f) are not exhaustive but are inclusive for there could be other instances when the proper officer could reasonably doubt the accuracy or truth of the value declared.
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Authorisation to investigate u/s 17 of PC Act:
The truth and veracity of the authorisation order not being in issue, the failure to file it along with the chargesheet was an omission constituting a procedural lapse only. The rejection of the first application on 11.03.2008 not having been ordered on merits, but for failure to furnish a satisfactory explanation for the delay, Section 362 Cr.P.C has no relevance on facts. We are, therefore, of the opinion that there was no impediment in the appellant seeking to bring the same on record subsequently under Section 173(2)(5)(a) of the Code. The consequences of disallowing the procedural lapse were substantive in nature.
Failure to produce authorisation alongwith chargesheet:
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