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Western India Metal Industries v/s Union of India(UOI)

    Writ Petition No. 574 of 2002

    Decided On, 02 April 2002

    At, High Court of Judicature at Bombay



Judgment Text

( 1 ) HEARD Mr. Hidaitullah for the petitioners. Mr. Desai appears for and respondents.

( 2 ) THIS petition seeks to challenge the order passed by the Customs Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal ("cegat" for short), whereby the CEGAT has completely declined to waive pre-deposit for the purposes of entertaining the appeal.

( 3 ) THE petitioners have contended that large number of documents were not made available in the original proceedings and that is how grave prejudice has been caused in defence of the rights of the petitioners. The petitioners are already in appeal before the CEGAT. In affidavit in reply of R. S. Sangia, Assistant Commissioner, Legal, Central Excise filed on behalf of respondents it has been pointed out that on number of dates inspection was offered to the petitioners: and the dates are specifically referred in paragraph-4 for 48 days. Mr. Hidaitullah, learned Counsel for the petitioner submits that there are errors in all these dates and still the inspection is not complete.

( 4 ) IN as much as the petitioners are before CEGAT, it will be open to the petitioners to apply for whatever documents which they require. As far as pre-deposit is concerned, Mr. Hidaitullah has relied upon number of factors and submitted that the financial difficulties of the petitioners were not considered by CEGAT. We have seen the impugned order and we find that the CEGAT has considered that financial difficulties of the petitioners and as against the original demand of more than Rs. 2 crore it has ordered payment of Rs. 41 lakh.

( 5 ) MR. Hidaitullah relied upon judgment of the Apex Court in Sangfroid Remedies Ltd. v. Union of India, 1998 (103) E. L. T. 5 and submitted that the financial difficulties had been considered by the Apex Court to waive pre-deposit completely. When we perused the said judgment, we find that it was the case of sick industry whose affairs were pending before the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction ("b. I. F. R. " for short) and that was the factor which led the Apex Court to wave pre-deposit. In the present case, there is no such similar situation that the affairs of the petit

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ioners are being referred to B. I. F. R. In this view of the matter, we do not wish to interfere with the impugned order passed by CEGAT which was passed by considering various factors. ( 6 ) THE petition is, therefore, dismissed.