Madras High Court Allows Re-Exportation Of Betelnut Products Subject To Execution Of A Bond To Cover Value Of Goods
The Madras High Court bench of Justice S.S. Sundar and Justice S.Srimathy has allowed the re-exportation of betelnut products subject to the execution of a bond to cover the value of the goods. The respondent/assessee imported betelnut products with a particular description. The department stated that the assessee had imported goods by mistake. The appellants sought to levy duty by classifying the goods under Chapter VIII. However, the assessee, stating that he cannot afford to pay tax under the classification proposed, submitted a representation to the appellants that the respondent may be permitted to re-export the goods to avoid tax being assessed under Chapter VIII. The assessee has filed a writ petition seeking direction from the department to allow the assessee to re-export the goods. The single judge bench gave an option to the trader to re-export the imported goods if they are held to be prohibited from being imported to mitigate the loss. In the same order, the department was permitted to impose or collect a penalty if the circumstances warranted it. The Single Judge clarified that the order was without prejudice to the appellants' authority to impose a penalty or any other charge that may be imposed, depending upon the circumstances. The department filed an appeal against the order of the Single Judge by which the assessee was given an option to re-export the imported goods. The court noted that the respondent had no objection to submitting himself for enquiry. As a matter of fact, the investigation was going on and the respondent had already appeared before the investigative agency once. "This Court is unable to find any reason to interfere with the order of learned Single Judge, which gives only simple direction to the appellants to complete the adjudication process one way or the other with an option to the respondent to re-export the goods back to the place from where the goods were imported. As pointed out by this Court earlier, this Court does not find any merit in the grievance expressed by learned counsel for the appellants," the court said. The court directed the appellants to permit the respondent to exercise the option as per the order of a single judge upon the respondent's executing a bond to the full value of the goods that are sought to be re-exported.