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CUSTOMS ACT 1962
 


 
CHAPTER XV         APPEALS AND REVISION

 
 

 

SECTION 128 Appeals to Commissioner (Appeals). 

 

(1) Any person aggrieved by any decision or order passed under this Act by an officer of customs lower in rank than a Commissioner of Customs may appeal to the Commissioner (Appeals) within sixty days from the date of the communication to him of such decision or order :

Provided that the Commissioner (Appeals) may, if he is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from presenting the appeal within the aforesaid period of sixty days, allow it to be presented within a further period of thirty days.

(2)Every appeal under this section, shall be insuch form and shall be verified in such manner as may be specified by rules made in this behalf. 

 

SECTION 128A.Procedure in appeal. 

 

 (1) The Commissioner (Appeals) shall give an opportunity to the appellant to be heard if he so desires.

(2)TheCommissioner (Appeals) may, at the hearing of an appeal, allow the appellant to go into any ground of appeal not specified in the grounds of appeal, if the Commissioner (Appeals) is satisfied that the omission of that ground from the grounds of appeal was not wilful or unreasonable.

(3)TheCommissioner (Appeals) shall, after making such further inquiry as may be necessary, pass such order, as he thinks just and proper, confirming, modifying or annulling the decision or order appealed against :

Provided that an order enhancing any penalty or fine in lieu of confiscation or confiscating goods of greater value or reducing the amount of refund shall not be passed unless the appellant has been given a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the proposed order :

Provided further that where the Commissioner (Appeals) is of opinion that any duty has not been levied or has been short-levied or erroneously refunded, no order requiring the appellant to pay any duty not levied, short-levied or erroneously refunded shall be passed unless the appellant is given notice within the time-limit specified in section 28 to show cause against the proposed order.

(4)Theorder of the Commissioner (Appeals) disposing of the appeal shall be in writing and shall state the points for determination, the decision thereon and the reasons for the decision.

(4A) The Commissioner (Appeals) shall, where it is possible to do so, hear and decide every appeal within a period of six months from the date on which it is filed.]

(5)Onthe disposal of the appeal, the Commissioner (Appeals) shall communicate the order passed by him to the appellant, the adjudicating authority , the Chief Commissioner of Customs and the Commissioner of Customs. 

 

SECTION 129. Appellate Tribunal. 

 

 (1) The Central Government shall constitute an Appellate Tribunal to be called the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal consisting of as many judicial and technical members as it thinks fit to exercise the powers and discharge the functions conferred on the Appellate Tribunal by this Act.

(2)A judicial member shall be a person who has forat least ten years held a judicial office in the territory of India or who has been a member of the Indian Legal Service and has held a post in Grade I of that service or any equivalent or higher post for at least three years, or who has been an advocate for at least ten years.

Explanation. - For the purposes of this sub-section, -

(i)in computing the periodduring which a person has held judicial office in the territory of India, there shall be included any period, after he has held any judicial office, during which the person has been an advocate or has held the office of a member of a tribunal or any post, under the Union or a State, requiring special knowledge of law;

(ii)in computing the period during which a person has been an advocate, there shall be included any period during which the person has held a judicial office, or the office of a member of a tribunal or any post, under the Union or a State, requiring special knowledge of law after he became an advocate.

(2A)A technical member shall be a person who hasbeen a member of the Indian Customs and Central Excise Service, Group A, and has held the post of Commissioner of Customs or Central Excise or any equivalent or higher post for at least three years.

(3)The Central Government shall appoint

(a) a person who is or has been a Judge of a High Court; or

(b) one of the members of the Appellate Tribunal,

to be the President thereof.

(4)The Central Government may appoint one or moremembers of the Appellate Tribunal to be the Vice-President, or, as the case may be, Vice-Presidents, thereof.

(5)A Vice-President shall exercise such of thepowers and perform such of the functions of the President as may be delegated to him by the President by a general or special order in writing. 

 

SECTION 129A. Appeals to the Appellate Tribunal 

 

 (1) Any person aggrieved by any of the following orders may appeal to the Appellate Tribunal against such order -

(a)      a decision or order passed by the Commissioner of Customs as an adjudicating authority;

(b)      an order passed by the Commissioner (Appeals) under section 128A;

(c)      an order passed by the Board or the Appellate Commissioner of Customs under Section 128, as it stood immediately before the appointed day;

(d)      an order passed by the Board or the Commissioner of Customs, either before or after the appointed day, under section 130, as it stood immediately before that day :

Provided that no appeal shall lie to the Appellate Tribunal and the Appellate Tribunal shall not have jurisdiction to decide any appeal in respect of any order referred to in clause (b) if such order relates to, -

(a)anygoods imported or exported as baggage;

(b)anygoods loaded in a conveyance for importation into India, but which are not unloaded at their place of destination in India, or so much of the quantity of such goods as has not been unloaded at any such destination if goods unloaded at such destination are short of the quantity required to be unloaded at that destination;

( c)paymentof drawback as provided in Chapter X, and the rules made thereunder :

Provided further that the Appellate Tribunal may, in its discretion, refuse to admit an appeal in respect of an order referred to in clause (b) or clause (c) or clause (d) where -

(i)thevalue of the goods confiscated without option having been given to the owner of the goods to pay a fine in lieu of confiscation under section 125; or

(ii)in any disputed case, other than a casewhere the determination of any question having a relation to the rate of duty of customs or to the value of goods for purposes of assessment is in issue or is one of the points in issue, the difference in duty involved or the duty involved; or

(iii)theamount of fine or penalty determined by such order,

does not exceed fifty thousand rupees.

(1A) Everyappeal against any order of the nature referred to in the first proviso to sub-section (1), which is pending immediately before the commencement of section 40 of the Finance Act, 1984, before the Appellate Tribunal and any matter arising out of or connected with such appeal and which is so pending shall stand transferred on such commencement to the Central Government and the Central Government shall deal with such appeal or matter under section 129DD as if such appeal or matter were an application or a matter arising out of an application made to it under that section.

(1B) (i)          The Board may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute such Committees as may be necessary for the purposes of this Act.

(ii)      Every Committee constituted under clause (i) shall consist of two Chief Commissioners of Customs or two Commissioners of Customs, as the case may be.

(2) TheCommittee of Commissioners of Customs may, if it is of opinion that an order passed by the Appellate Commissioner of Customs under section 128, as it stood immediately before the appointed day, or by the Commissioner (Appeals) under section 128A, is not legal or proper, direct the proper officer to appeal on its behalf to the Appellate Tribunal against such order.

(3)Everyappeal under this section shall be filed within three months from the date on which the order sought to be appealed against is communicated to the Commissioner of Customs, or as the case may be, the other party preferring the appeal.

(4)Onreceipt of notice that an appeal has been preferred under this section, the party against whom the appeal has been preferred may, notwithstanding that he may not have appealed against such order or any part thereof, file, within forty-five days of the receipt of the notice, a memorandum of cross-objections verified in such manner as may be specified by rules made in this behalf against any part of the order appealed against and such memorandum shall be disposed of by the Appellate Tribunal as if it were an appeal presented within the time specified in sub-section (3).

(5)TheAppellate Tribunal may admit an appeal or permit the filing of a memorandum of cross-objections after the expiry of the relevant period referred to in sub-section (3) or sub-section (4), if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not presenting it within that period.

(6)Anappeal to the Appellate Tribunal shall be in such form and shall be verified in such manner as may be specified by rules made in this behalf and shall, irrespective of the date of demand of duty and interest or of levy of penalty in relation to which the appeal is made, be accompanied by a fee of, —

(a)      where the amount of duty and interest demanded and penalty levied by any officer of customs in the case to which the appeal relates is five lakh rupees or less, one thousand rupees;

(b)      where the amount of duty and interest demanded and penalty levied by any officer of customs in the case to which the appeal relates is more than five lakh rupees but not exceeding fifty lakh rupees, five thousand rupees;

(c)      where the amount of duty and interest demanded and penalty levied by any officer of customs in the case to which the appeal relates is more than fifty lakh rupees, ten thousand rupees :

          Provided that no such fee shall be payable in the case of an appeal referred to in sub-section (2) or a memorandum of cross-objections referred to in sub-section (4).

(7)Everyapplication made before the Appellate Tribunal, —

(a)inan appeal for grant of stay or for rectification of mistake or for any other purpose; or

(b)forrestoration of an appeal or an application,

shall be accompanied by a fee of five hundred rupees :

Provided that no such fee shall be payable in the case of an application filed by or on behalf of the Commissioner of Customs under this sub-section. 

 

SECTION 129B Orders of Appellate Tribunal. 

 

 (1) The Appellate Tribunal may, after giving the parties to the appeal, an opportunity of being heard, pass such orders thereon as it thinks fit, confirming, modifying or annulling the decision or order appealed against or may refer the case back to the authority which passed such decision or order with such directions as the Appellate Tribunal may think fit, for a fresh adjudication or decision, as the case may be, after taking additional evidence, if necessary.

(1A)The Appellate Tribunal may, if sufficient cause isshown, at any stage of hearing of an appeal, grant time to the parties or any of them and adjourn the hearing of the appeal for reasons to be recorded in writing :

Provided that no such adjournment shall be granted more than three times to a party during hearing of the appeal.

(2)The Appellate Tribunal may, at any time withinsix months from the date of the order, with a view to rectifying any mistake apparent from the record, amend any order passed by it under sub-section (1) and shall make such amendments if the mistake is brought to its notice by the Commissioner of Customs or the other party to the appeal :

Provided that an amendment which has the effect of enhancing the assessment or reducing a refund or otherwise increasing the liability of the other party shall not be made under this sub-section, unless the Appellate Tribunal has given notice to him of its intention to do so and has allowed him a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

(2A)The Appellate Tribunal shall, where it ispossible to do so, hear and decide every appeal within a period of three years from the date on which such appeal is filed :

Provided that where an order of stay is made in any proceeding relating to an appeal filed under sub-section (1) of section 129A, the Appellate Tribunal shall dispose of the appeal within a period of one hundred and eighty days from the date of such order :

Provided further that if such appeal is not disposed of within the period specified in the first proviso, the stay order shall, on the expiry of that period, stand vacated.

(3)The Appellate Tribunal shall send a copy ofevery order passed under this section to the Commissioner of Customs and the other party to the appeal.

(4)Save as otherwise provided in section 130 orsection 130E, orders passed by the Appellate Tribunal on appeal shall be final.

 

SECTION 129C Procedure of Appellate Tribunal.

 

 (1) The powers and functions of the Appellate Tribunal may be exercised and discharged by Benches constituted by the President from amongst the members thereof.

(2)Subject to the provisions contained insub-section (4), a Bench shall consist of one judicial member and one technical member.

(3)omitted

(4)The President or any other member of theAppellate Tribunal authorised in this behalf by the President may, sitting singly, dispose of any case which has been allotted to the Bench of which he is a member where -

(a)thevalue of the goods confiscated without option having been given to the owner of the goods to pay a fine in lieu of confiscation under section 125; or

(b)inany disputed case, other than a case where the determination of any question having a relation to the rate of duty of customs or to the value of goods for purposes of assessment is in issue or is one of the points in issue, the difference in duty involved or the duty involved; or

( c)theamount of fine or penalty involved,

does not exceed ten lakhs rupees.

(5)If the members of a Bench differ in opinion onany point, the point shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority, if there is a majority; but if the members are equally divided, they shall state the point or points on which they differ and make a reference to the President who shall either hear the point or points himself or refer the case for hearing on such point or points by one or more of the other members of the Appellate Tribunal and such point or points shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority of these members of the Appellate Tribunal who have heard the case, including those who first heard it.

(6)Subject to the provisions of this Act, theAppellate Tribunal shall have power to regulate its own procedure and the procedure of the Benches thereof in all matters arising out of the exercise of its powers or of the discharge of its functions, including the places at which the Benches shall hold their sittings.

(7)The Appellate Tribunal shall, for the purposesof discharging its functions, have the same powers as are vested in a court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), when trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely :-

(a)discovery and inspection;

(b) enforcing the attendance of any person andexamining him on oath;

( c)compellingthe production of books of account and other documents; and

(d)issuingcommissions.

(8) Any proceeding before the Appellate Tribunal shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 and for the purpose of section 196 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), and the Appellate Tribunal shall be deemed to be a Civil Court for all the purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974). 

 

SECTION 129D. Powers of Committee of Chief Commissioners of Customs or Commissioner of Customs] to pass certain orders 

 

(1) The Committee of Chief Commissioners of Customs may, of its own motion, call for and examine the record of any proceeding in which a Commissioner of Customs as an adjudicating authority has passed any decision or order under this Act for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the legality or propriety of any such decision or order and may, by order, direct such Commissioner or any other Commissioner to apply to the Appellate Tribunal for the determination of such points arising out of the decision or order as may be specified by the Committee of Chief Commissioners of Customs in its order.

(2)TheCommissioner of Customs may, of his own motion, call for and examine the record of any proceeding in which an adjudicating authority subordinate to him has passed any decision or order under this Act for the purpose of satisfying himself as to the legality or propriety of any such decision or order and may, by order, direct such authority or any officer of Customs subordinate to him to apply to the Commissioner (Appeals) for the determination of such points arising out of the decision or order as may be specified by the Commissioner of Customs in his order.

(3)TheCommittee of Chief Commissioners of Customs or the Commissioner of Customs, as the case may be, shall, where it is possible to do so, make order under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), within a period of six months, but not beyond a period of one year, from the date of the decision or order of the adjudicating authority.

(4)Wherein pursuance of an order under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), the adjudicating authority or any officer of customs authorised in this behalf by the Commissioner of Customs, makes an application to the Appellate Tribunal or the Commissioner (Appeals) within a period of three months from the date of communication of the order under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) to the adjudicating authority, such application shall be heard by the Appellate Tribunal or the Commissioner (Appeals), as the case may be, as if such application were an appeal made against the decision or order of the adjudicating authority and the provisions of this Act regarding appeals, including the provisions of sub-section (4) of section 129A shall, so far as may be, apply to such application.

(5)Theprovisions of this section shall not apply to any decision or order in which the determination of any question having a relation to the rate of duty or to the value of goods for the purposes of assessment of any duty is in issue or is one of the points in issue.

Explanation. - For the purposes of this sub-section, the determination of a rate of duty in relation to any goods or valuation of any goods for the purposes of assessment of duty includes the determination of a question -

(a)relatingto the rate of duty for the time being in force, whether under the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (51 of 1975), or under any other Central Act providing for the levy and collection of any duty of customs, in relation to any goods on or after the 28th day of February, 1986; or

(b)relatingto the value of goods for the purposes of assessment of any duty in cases where the assessment is made on or after the 28th day of February, 1986; or

( c)whetherany goods fall under a particular heading or sub-heading of the First Schedule or the Second Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (51 of 1975), or that any goods are or not covered by a particular notification or order issued by the Central Government granting total or partial exemption from duty; or

(d)whetherthe value of any goods for the purposes of assessment of duty shall be enhanced or reduced by the addition or reduction of the amounts in respect of such matters as are specifically provided in this Act. 

 

SECTION 129DA. Powers of revision of Board or Commissioner of Customs in certain cases. 

 

 (1) The Board may, of its own motion or on the application of any aggrieved person or otherwise, call for and examine the record of any proceeding in which a Commissioner of Customs has passed any decision or order [not being a decision or order passed under sub-section (2) of this section] of the nature referred to in sub-section (5) of section 129D for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of such decision or order and may pass such order thereon as it thinks fit.

(2)The Commissioner of Customs may, of his own motion or on the application of any aggrieved person or otherwise, call for and examine the record of any proceeding in which an adjudicating authority subordinate to him has passed any decision or order of the nature referred to in sub-section (5) of section 129D for the purpose of satisfying himself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of such decision or order and may pass such order thereon as he thinks fit.

(3) (a)No decision or order under this sectionshall be made so as to prejudicially affect any person unless such person is given a reasonable opportunity of making representation and if, he so desires, of being heard in his defence.

(b)Where the Board or, as the case may be, theCommissioner of Customs is of the opinion that any duty has not been levied or has been short-levied or short-paid or erroneously refunded, no order requiring the affected person to pay any duty not levied or paid, short-levied or short-paid or erroneously refunded shall be passed under this section unless such person is given notice within the time limit specified in section 28 to show cause against the proposed order.

(4)No proceedings shall be initiated undersub-section (1) or sub-section (2) in respect of any decision or order after the expiry of a period of six months from the date of communication of such decision or order :

Provided that in respect of any decision or order passed before the commencement of the Customs and Central Excises Laws (Amendment) Act, 1988, the provisions of this sub-section shall have effect as if for the words “six months”, the words “one year” were substituted.

(5)Any person aggrieved by any decision or orderpassed under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) may appeal to the Customs and Excise Revenues Appellate Tribunal established under section 3 of the Customs and Excise Revenues Appellate Tribunal Act, 1986 (62 of 1986), against such decision or order. 

 

SECTION 129DD. Revision by Central Government.

 

 (1) The Central Government may, on the application of any person aggrieved by any order passed under section 128A, where the order is of the nature referred to in the first proviso to sub-section (1) of section 129A, annul or modify such order. 

Provided that the Central Government may in its discretion, refuse to admit an application in respect of an order where the amount of duty or fine or penalty, determined by such order does not exceed five thousand rupees.

Explanation. - For the purposes of this sub-section, “order passed under section 128A” includes an order passed under that section before the commencement of section 40 of the Finance Act, 1984, against which an appeal has not been preferred before such commencement and could have been, if the said section had not come into force, preferred after such commencement, to the Appellate Tribunal.

(1A) The Commissioner of Customs may, if he is of the opinion that an order passed by the Commissioner (Appeals) under section 128A is not legal or proper, direct the proper officer to make an application on his behalf to the Central Government for revision of such order.

(2)An application under sub-section (1) shall bemade within three months from the date of the communication to the applicant of the order against which the application is being made :

Provided that the Central Government may, if it is satisfied that the applicant was prevented by sufficient cause from presenting the application within the aforesaid period of three months, allow it to be presented within a further period of three months.

(3)An application under sub-section (1) shall bein such form and shall be verified in such manner as may be specified by rules made in this behalf and shall be accompanied by a fee of, -

(a)two hundred rupees, where the amount of duty and interest demanded, fine or penalty levied by an officer of customs in the case to which the application relates is one lakh rupees or less;

(b)one thousand rupees, where the amount of duty and interest demanded, fine or penalty levied by an officer of customs in the case to which the application relates is more than one lakh rupees :

Provided that no such fee shall be payable in the case of an application referred to in sub-section (1A).

(4)The Central Government may, of its own motion,annul or modify any order referred to in sub-section (1).

(5)No order enhancing any penalty or fine in lieuof confiscation or confiscating goods of greater value shall be passed under this section, -

(a)in any case in which an order passed under section 128A has enhanced any penalty or fine in lieu of confiscation or has confiscated goods of greater value, and

(b)in any other case, unless the person affected by the proposed order has been given notice to show cause against it within one year from the date of the order sought to be annulled or modified.

(6)Where the Central Government is of opinion thatany duty of customs has not been levied or has been short-levied, no order levying or enhancing the duty shall be made under this section unless the person affected by the proposed order is given notice to show cause against it within the time limit specified in section 28.

 

SECTION 129E. Deposit, pending appeal, of duty and interest demanded or penalty levied.

 

 Where in any appeal under this Chapter, the decision or order appealed against relates to any duty and interest demanded in respect of goods which are not under the control of the customs authorities or any penalty levied under this Act, the person desirous of appealing against such decision or order shall, pending the appeal, deposit with the proper officer the duty and interest demanded or the penalty levied :

 

Provided that where in any particular case, the Commissioner (Appeals) or the Appellate Tribunal is of opinion that the deposit of duty and interest demanded or penalty levied would cause undue hardship to such person, the Commissioner (Appeals) or, as the case may be, the Appellate Tribunal may dispense with such deposit subject to such conditions as he or it may deem fit to impose so as to safeguard the interests of revenue :

Provided further that where an application is filed before the Commissioner (Appeals) for dispensing with the deposit of duty and interest demanded or penalty levied under the first proviso, the Commissioner (Appeals) shall, where it is possible to do so, decide such application within thirty days from the date of its filing.

 

 

SECTION 130. Appeal to High Court.

 

 (1) An appeal shall lie to the High Court from every order passed in appeal by the Appellate Tribunal on or after the 1st day of July, 2003 (not being an order relating, among other things, to the determination of any question having a relation to the rate of duty of customs or to the value of goods for purposes of assessment), if the High Court is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law. 

(2) The Commissioner of Customs or the other party aggrieved by any order passed by the Appellate Tribunal may file an appeal to the High Court and such appeal under this sub-section shall be -

 (a)    filed within one hundred and eighty days from the date on which the order appealed against is received by the Commissioner of Customs or the other party;

 (b)    accompanied by a fee of two hundred rupees where such appeal is filed by the other party;

 (c)    in the form of a memorandum of appeal precisely stating therein the substantial question of law involved.

(3)Where the HighCourt is satisfied that a substantial question of law is involved in any case, it shall formulate that question.

(4)The appeal shall beheard only on the question so formulated, and the respondents shall, at the hearing of the appeal, be allowed to argue that the case does not involve such question.

Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall be deemed to take away or abridge the power of the Court to hear, for reasons to be recorded, the appeal on any other substantial question of law not formulated by it, if it is satisfied that the case involves such question.

(5) The High Court shall decide the question of law so formulated and deliver such judgment thereon containing the grounds on which such decision is founded and may award such cost as it deems fit.

(6)The High Court maydetermine any issue which -

 (a)    has not been determined by the Appellate Tribunal; or

 (b)    has been wrongly determined by the Appellate Tribunal, by reason of a decision on such question of law as is referred to in sub-section (1).

(7)When an appeal hasbeen filed before the High C

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