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Cummins Technologies India Private Limited Vs. Union of India and Ors. - (High Court of Bombay) (28 Aug 2023)

Any person claiming refund of any duty is to make an application before the expiry of one year from the date of payment of such duty or interest



Present Petition impugns the rejection of a refund claim of Rs. 38,90,832 vide order passed by the Respondent no.3-Assistant Commissioner of Customs, as being time barred and not sustainable under Section 27 of the Customs Act, 1962, (the "Customs Act") and seeks a direction to the Respondent no.3 to refund the said amount to the Petitioner.

Section 27 of the Customs Act, clearly requires that any person claiming refund of any duty is to make an application in the form or manner as may be prescribed before the expiry of one year from the date of payment of such duty or interest. In the present case, the petitioner has filed refund application on 30.07.2019, after more than two years of payment of duty and therefore, even if the date of 11.7.2017 is considered as the payment of duty, the one year would end on 10 July 2018 which is clearly beyond the period of one year as contemplated by the Customs Act and is barred by limitation.

The claim of refund made by the Petitioner nowhere states or submits that the tax or duty had been claimed or collected by misinterpreting or misapplying the provisions of law. There would therefore be no question of unjust enrichment as claimed by the Petitioner in the Respondent no. 3 rejecting the refund claim on the ground of limitation.

The Petitioner has been negligent in pursuing its statutory remedies and now is seeking the indulgence of this Court in its writ jurisdiction. The Petition also suffers from delay and laches. Even assuming that, the impugned order rejecting the refund claim of the Petitioner on 8th November, 2019 was received by the Petitioner on 18th November, 2019, the Petitioner has filed the present Petition only on 14th September 2020. Therefore, apart from the fact that the Petition is filed more than three years after the date of excess payment of customs duty on 11th July, 2017, it is also filed after ten months of the date of the rejection order.

In the facts and circumstances of present case, no interference is called for in the impugned order passed by the Assistant Commissioner of Customs under Section 27 of the Customs Act, 1962. Petition dismissed.


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