24 June 2024


Judgments

Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal

Apollo Tyres Limited vs Commissioner of Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax

MANU/CS/0164/2024

19.04.2024

Customs

Equal penalty can be imposed only in a case where the duty has not been paid or short paid by reason of collusion or any willful mis-statement or suppression of fact

Present appeal is directed against order-in-original wherein the Appellant challenged only imposition of penalties of Rs. 68,74,072 imposed under Section 114A of the Customs Act, 1964.

The case relates to classification of the imported goods, the Appellant have classified the goods under CTH 38122090 on a bona fide belief that the imported goods were Plasticizer and the same were used as Plasticizer in the manufacture of the tyre. The compound Plasticizer is clearly mentioned in the tariff entry against CTH 38122090. Therefore, the bona fide belief of the Appellant that the product being a plasticizer classifiable under CTH 38122090 cannot be doubted. The appellant without contesting the duty liability paid the entire amount along with interest and seek relief only for waiver of penalty.

In all over India at all the Ports, said goods was being classified and accepted under CTH 38122090 considering the same as plasticizer. Therefore, it is not only belief of the Appellant but also the view of the department that the goods is classifiable under CTH 38122090. However, it could only be ascertained that the good is classified under CTH 27079900 after detailed analysis of the product. Therefore, in facts and circumstances of the case, the penalty under Section 114A of Act cannot be imposed.

From the plain reading of the Section 114A, it can be seen that the equal penalty can be imposed only in a case where the duty has not been paid or short paid by reason of collusion or any willful mis-statement or suppression of fact. In the present case, it is absolutely clear that non-payment of duty on the part of the appellant is not by reason of suppression of fact, collusion or any willful misstatement. Therefore, the ingredients for imposing penalty under Section 114A are absent. Therefore, the penalty under Section 114A cannot be imposed. The duty demand along with interest and payment thereof are upheld and maintained. The penalty imposed under Section 114A is set aside. Appeal allowed.

Tags : Penalty Imposition Legality

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