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Neelkanth Pulp And Paper Boards Vs. Commissioner of Customs - (Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal) (27 Jan 2022)

Entire consignment cannot be seized/confiscated on unjustified assumptions and presumption and in absence of evidences



The issue involved in the Appeals is whether freely importable Waste Paper of CTH 47079000, imported by Appellants are liable to confiscation or otherwise and whether consequential penalty on Appellants are imposable or otherwise.

The Appellants have submitted pre-shipment inspection certificates issued by registered inspection agencies duly approved by the competent DGFT authorities and also certificate of Chemical Analysis reports etc. There is no whisper by Revenue against fact of waste papers pre-dominantly contained in whole consignment of goods in question. Having not disputed this factual position by Revenue, seizure/confiscation of consignment is not justified.

It is settled law that, entire consignment cannot be seized/confiscated on unjustified assumptions and presumption and in absence of evidences. In the facts of this case, revenue has not adduced clinching evidences to justify seizure and confiscation of consignments imported by these Appellants. Authorities have not considered facts and have not given judicious findings on the facts in instant cases.

The goods in question are not "Municipal Waste" and hence, provisions of Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Trans boundary Movement) Rules, 2016 are not applicable in absence of sufficient and clear evidences. Thus, no cogent reasons with clear evidences are adduced on record by Revenue for discarding pre-shipment inspection certificate in toto. In absence of any inculpatory statements and there being no deliberate misdeclaration on the part of Appellants, confiscation of goods, and penalty are not sustainable, in the facts of these cases.

The Appellants are admittedly engaged in the manufacture of craft paper and other paper products and the imported goods i.e. paper waste in question is meant for use as raw material in their production. On this fact also, it cannot be alleged that Appellant has not imported the paper waste and something else. Order for re-export of goods and imposition of penalty on all the Appellants is set aside. Appeals allowed.


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