S.S. Sekhon, Member (T)
1. The above-mentioned stay matters along with COD applications and appeals were taken up for hearing and are disposed of by this common order since the issue involved in all these matters is the same even if the Order-in-Original against these appeals/CODs and stay applications have been filed are different. Since the delays as per the CODs are only 2 to 4 days, the three COD applications are allowed.
2. After hearing Ld. Counsel Shri Anantha Krishnan and Ms. Prameela Viswanathan, Advocates for the appellants and Shri S. Sudarshan Ld. DR for the department and considering the materials on record, we find that certain exports of garments were effected from Tuticorin Port. However, enquiries revealed that these exports were not admissible for drawback since the goods had not reached the container freights stationed in and around Tuticorin Customs area by 31.12.1998. However, the proper officer of Customs appears to have examined the goods and made the shipping endorsement and shipping bills filed by the exporters prior to the date certifying the goods to have been received in the Customs area and shipped. The cross-examination of this proper officer of Customs who had permitted the shipments was not allowed by the lower authorities. In similar cases vide Tribunal’s Final Order No. 696 & 696A/2000 (Stay Order No. 396, 396A/ 2000) in the case of Dee Cee Exports, Tirupur Freight AG (P) Ltd., Tuticorin v. CC, Trichy and Final Order No. 1116/2000 (Stay Order No. 724/2000) in the case of Shri Vaishnodevi Mills (P) Ltd. v. CC, Trichy, we have held that cross-examination of the Proper Officer of Customs who had allowed the shipments was sine qua non to establish the fact as to where were the goods, on the said dates, were said to be examined and permitted to be exported by the proper officer of Customs. Following the decision arrived at in these orders, the present appeals are also allowed by way of remand after granting waiver & Stay in the matter. The impugned orders are set aside and the issue remanded back to the Commissioner of Customs for re-adjudication of the case with direction that the officer who conducted the examination and allowed the shipments should be presented for cross-examination and the material placed on record afresh after following principles of natural justice. The appeals are allowed in above terms.