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Mandev Tubes and Ors. v. C.C.E. & S. Tax, Vapi - (Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal) (13 Jun 2017)

Statement of person relied upon in confirming demand be allowed to be cross-examined



Appellants are engaged in manufacture of copper tubes and availed benefit of CENVAT credit on various inputs, including copper ingots. On basis of investigation by DGCEI, it was alleged that, Appellant during period May 2003 to April 2004, had wrongly availed credit of Rs. 40,99,008/- only on basis of input invoices without receiving goods mentioned against those invoices in their factory premises. Accordingly, Assessee was issued with a show cause notice for recovery of said inadmissible credit along with interest and penalty. On adjudication, demand was confirmed with interest and penalty. Aggrieved by said order, appeal was filed before Commissioner (Appeals), who in turn, rejected their appeals. Hence, present appeals.

Assessee-appellant has requested cross-examination of witnesses. Authorities below had denied cross-examination of said witness without any valid reason. Also, statements of said witnessed were relied and accepted by adjudicating authority in confirming proceeding against Appellant. In these circumstances, adjudicating authority ought to have allowed cross-examination of these witnesses and also should have afforded reasonable opportunity of hearing instead of giving three dates of hearing in one single letter.

It has been held in a series of cases including in case of Andaman Timber Industries vs. C.C.E., Kolkatta II MANU/SC/1250/2015 that, statement of person relied upon in confirming demand be allowed to be cross-examined. In result, impugned order is set aside and appeals are allowed by way of remand to adjudicating authority for deciding the issue afresh after allowing cross-examination witnesses, and affording reasonable opportunity of hearing to Appellant.

Relevant : Andaman Timber Industries vs. C.C.E., Kolkatta II MANU/SC/1250/2015: 2015 (324) ELT 641 (SC)


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