10 June 2024


Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal

Girish Kumar Singh vs Commissioner of Customs




No penalty can be imposed without proving the role of person being charged

The issue in present appeal is whether penalty of Rs. 10 lakhs has been correctly imposed on the Appellant under Section 112(b) of the Customs Act, 1962. The Appellant is working as clearing agent of imported goods, but not having any CHA/CB license.

Pursuant to investigation, show cause notice was issued proposing to confiscate the cigarette and imposed penalty on various persons including Appellant. Vide order-in-original, the consignment of cigarette was absolutely confiscated and penalty of Rs. 5 lakhs was imposed on Ankit Enterprises, the IEC holder. Further, penalty of Rs. 50 lakhs was imposed each on Habib-uz-Zaman and Badi-uz-Zaman under Section 112(a) of the Act. Penalty of Rs. 10 lakhs was also imposed on Appellant under Section 112(b) of the Customs Act, 1962.

Being aggrieved, this appellant preferred appeal before the Commissioner (Appeals) who vide the impugned order has been pleased to reject the appeal observing that, it was this Appellant who has arranged the meeting between the IEC holder Ankit Enterprises and Habib-uz-Zaman who is the actual importer. Being aggrieved, the Appellant is before present Tribunal.

It is a settled law that, for making out a case, the Department is required to categorically mention the provision which was made basis for imposition of penalty. The decision of this Tribunal in the case of Green Port Shipping Agency vs. CC-2021 wherein it has been held that no penalty can be imposed without proving the role of person being charged.

The only allegation against present Appellant is that he introduced the actual importer Habib-uz-Zaman and Badi-uz-Zaman to the IEC holder, who agreed for the use of his IEC on consideration agreed to be provided by Habib-uz-Zaman. Thereafter, there is no role of this Appellant forthcoming. None of the co-noticee has stated anything against this Appellant save and except that, he has introduced the importer and the IEC holder. Thus, none of the condition as stipulated in Section 112(b) of the Act is attracted for imposing penalty. Accordingly, the impugned order is set aside. Appeal is allowed.

Tags : Penalty Imposition Legality

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