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Super Fashion v/s Union of India

    Civil Appeal No. 7407 of 2002

    Decided On, 20 November 2002

    At, High Court of Delhi

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE MANMOHAN SARIN

    For the Appearing Parties: A. Maitri, Kuljit Raval, Advocates.



Judgment Text

MANMOHAN SARIN, J.


(1) RULE. WITH the consent of the parties, writ petition is taken up for disposal. By this writ petition petitioner seeks to have the following orders quashed:-


(I)Order No. AEPC/dz/lut/94/s-6/180/279 dated 17. 6. 1997 passed by Apparel Export Promotion council/respondent No. 4;


(II)Order No. 21/29 (S)/96/ep-II/574 DATED 14. 6. 2000 passed by the Textile Commissioner/respondent no. 3;


(III)Order No. AEPC/dz/kr/pp/lut/94-S-6 dated 24. 7. 2002 passed by respondent No. 4;


(IV)Order No. AEPC/dz/pp/lut/94/s-68/4713 dated 17. 10. 2002 passed by respondent No. 4 and


(V)Order No. 14/309/2000/ex-III/2498 dated 14,9. 2002 passed by the Second Appellate Committee, said to have been despatched in the month of November 2002.


(2) IT may be noted that by order dated 17. 10. 2002, respondent No. 4 had sought to raise an additional demand. The petitioner had filed a Civil writ bearing CW No. 6176/2002, wherein he had challenged the additional demand raised vide order dated 24. 7. 2002, apart from also challenging the orders passed on 17. 6. 1997 and 14. 6. 2000. The petitioner had also sought to raise its contention with regard to the existence of force majeure conditions. The said writ petition was disposed of on 27. 9. 2002, wherein the petitioner was given the opportunity to appear before the AEPC to show that the amount of additional demand sought to be raised was not warranted and the additional amount of forfeiture sought to be demanded vide order dated 24. 7. 2000, was contrary to the policy of the respondents.


(3) RESPONDENTS were directed to provide a hearing to the petitioner on 11. 8. 2002 and petitioner was permitted to point out any computational error and give its computation with regard to what would be the correct forfeiture amount. This hearing has been accorded and pursuant to which order dated 17. 10. 2002 has been passed by respondent No. 4.


(4) IT would be open for the petitioner to assail this order as passed by respondent No. 4 before the Textile Commissioner and other channels of appeal namely First Appellate Committee and the Second appellate Committee. While pointing out the computational errors, it would also be open for the petitioner to urge before the Textile Commissioner and appellate Authorities that while computing the forfeiture amount either the policy is being wrongly interpreted and put forward his plea of the correct interpretation of the Policy.


(5) WITH the consent of the parties, present writ petition is being confined to the aspect of the petitioner's submission relating to the demand not being leviable on account of existence of force majeure conditions. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted before me that while it is true that the quota was got revalidated by the end of September 1994, the hard fact remains that the out break of plague in surat had commenced in the month of September 1994 and had continued through October 1994. He submits that in fact the effect of plague lasted even during April-May 1995, by which time the adversely affected industry and economy was limping back to normal.


(6) MR. KULJIT Rawal , counsel for the respondent, on the other hand submits that the respondent despite the out break of plague in September 1994 has got the revalidation of quota done and order was placed on the supplier in Surat in the month of october 1994. By this it is apparent that petitioner had taken his chance and was placing orders in October 1994, despite the claim of existence and force majeure condition. Secondly he contends that the petitioner had orders from several foreign buyers to be executed out of supplies from Surat. Except in the case of one buyer, which is D and A Imports all orders were executed. This would tend to show that there were general supervening conditions which prevented the supply of fabric. Learned counsel submits that when orders could be executed upto 84% of supply orders from foreign buyers, the plea of force majeure woul

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d not be available for one solitary case. I find considerable merit in the submission of Mr. Kuljit Rawal. Plea of the petitioner with regard to the forfeiture being bad on account of force majeure conditions, is declined. The petitioner shall be however at liberty to pursue his other grounds with regard to forfeiture amount having been incorrectly computed or having been computed contrary to the policy. Writ petition is dismissed with the above observations.
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