Mumbai: Bombay HC Quashes Customs Department's Reassessment Order, Grants Relief To Patanjali Foods

Mumbai: Bombay HC Quashes Customs Department's Reassessment Order, Grants Relief To Patanjali Foods

The HC was hearing a petition filed by Patanjali challenging the reassessment of ex-bond bills of entry, all dated May 13, 2021, under the provisions of Section 68 of the Customs Act. The company had sought clearance of the goods for home consumption.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Saturday, July 06, 2024, 03:18 AM IST
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Mumbai: Bombay HC Quashes Customs Department's Reassessment Order, Grants Relief To Patanjali Foods |

Mumbai: In a relief to Patanjali Foods, the Bombay High Court quashed the reassessment order of the Customs department by which the company was asked to pay over Rs 61.69 lakh on import of Crude Palm Oil of Edible Grade in Bulk from Singapore.

The HC was hearing a petition filed by Patanjali challenging the reassessment of ex-bond bills of entry, all dated May 13, 2021, under the provisions of Section 68 of the Customs Act. The company had sought clearance of the goods for home consumption. It claimed that the Customs department had incorrectly levied tariff rates that came into force after assessments of the bills of entry were filed as per requirements under Section 15 of Customs Act.

Patanjali’s advocate Rajesh Rawal and HR Shetty contended in its plea that the reassessment resulted in additional customs duty, agriculture and infrastructure development cess, social welfare surcharge, and IGST amounting to a total of Rs61,69,890.

However, advocates for respondents Jitendra Mishra and Ram Ochani opposed the plea and said that the company can file an appeal before the appropriate forum and challenge the reassessment order. The high court rejected the objection stating that the reassessment orders were not speaking orders.

“Therefore, even if we decide to direct petitioner to file the appeal, petitioner will not even know the ground on which the reassessment was made and how the reassessment was contrary to the self assessment done by petitioner,” a bench of Justice KR Shriram and Jitendra Jain said on June 28.

The judges also relied on a Supreme Court judgment which emphasised that the tariff rate applicable would be the one that was in force on the date and time of presentation of self assessed bills of entry. It noted that the last of the four bills of entry was presented at 8:59 pm on May 13, 2021 whereas the revised tariff rates came into force 25 minutes later at 9:24 pm.

The respondents further contended that Patanjali Foods had not filed a refund application within the limitation period of one year. To this, the bench said that as per the apex court ruling limitation period was not applicable if the duty had been paid under protest.

The HC quashed the reassessment order and asked Patanjali Foods to file an application for refund to the proper officer. The officer concerned has been directed to lawfully dispose of the application within 12 weeks.

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