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Power Grid Corporation of India Limited vs. Commissioner of Customs - (Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal) (06 May 2024)

Limitation for extended period invokable, only if, suppression, fraud, collusion etc and intent to evade payment of duty is proved



The Appellant filed bill of entry for import of 120 KN Composite Long Rod Insulators for 765 KV Transmission lines and 160 KV Composite Long Rod Insulators for 765 KV transmission line by classifying these goods under Chapter Tariff Heading 85469090 of Customs Tariff and by availing the benefit of concessional rate of basic excise duty vide Serial No. 350 of Notification No. 12/2012-Cus dated 17th March, 2012. The department has issued a show cause notice.

The adjudicating authority vide order-in-original dropped the proceedings initiated vide the said Show Cause Notice on the ground that, the importer had claimed the benefit of Notification correctly as the Director (PG), Ministry of Power, Govt. of India, New Delhi had recommended eligibility of concessional rate of duty for import of Composite Long Rod Insulators. Being aggrieved by the said order-in-original, Revenue filed appeal before the Commissioner (Appeals) though remanded the matter but conclusively held that, the Appellant is not eligible to the benefit of Exemption Notification No. 12/2012-Cus. Being aggrieved by the Order-in-Appeal, the Appellant filed appeal before present Tribunal.

There is no change of circumstances from date of filing of bill of entry till the issue of show cause notice, therefore, nothing prevented the department to issue show cause notice within the normal period from the date of filing of bill of entry i.e. 9th February, 2017. Therefore, there is no reason for invoking the extended period upto three years, when there is no change in the facts of the case.

In Tamil Nadu Housing Board v. Collector of Central Excise, Madras, the apex court held that limitation for extended period invokable only if existence of situations (1) suppression, fraud, collusion etc and intent to evade payment of duty proved.

The suppression of fact or wilful misstatement or fraud or collusion etc., cannot be invoked in the present case. Therefore, the show cause notice issued after almost three years is clearly barred by limitation. Consequently, the demand being under extended period cannot sustain. Accordingly, the impugned order is set aside, appeal is allowed.


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