12. Appeal (1) Any person aggrieved by any decision or order made by the Adjudication Authority under this Act may prefer an appeal,- (a) Where the decision or order has been made by the Director General, to the Central Government ;
(b) Where the decision or order has been made by an officer subordinate to the Director General, to the Director General or to any officer superior to the Adjudicating Authority authorised by the Director General to hear the appeal, within a period of forty- five days from the date on which the decision or order is served on such person :
Provided that the Appellate Authority may, if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from preferring the appeal within the aforesaid period, allow such appeal to be preferred within a further period of thirty days:
Provided further that in the case of an appeal against a decision or order imposing a penalty or redemption charges, no such appeal shall be entertained unless the amount of the penalty or redemption charges has been deposited by the appellant:
Provided also that, where the Appellate Authority is of opinion that the deposit to be made will cause undue hardship to the appellant, it may, at its discretion, dispense with such deposit either unconditionally or subject to such conditions as it may impose.
(2) The Appellate Authority may, after giving to the appellant a reasonable opportunity of being heard, if he so desires, and after making such further inquiries, if any, as it may consider necessary, make such orders as it thinks fit, confirming, modifying or reversing the decision or order appealed against, or may send back the case with such directions, as it may think fit, for a fresh adjudication or decision, as the case may be, after taking additional evidence, if necessary:
Provided that an order enhancing or imposing a penalty or redemption charges or confiscating goods of a greater value shall not be made under this section unless the appellant has been given an opportunity of making a representation, and, if he so desires, of being heard in his defence.
(3) The order made in appeal by the Appellate Authority shall be final.
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