S.S. Sekhon, Member (T)
1. This appeal and stay petition are taken up together as the issue involved is in a narrow compass and as already remanded back eight orders vide order Nos. 1081-1088/2000, dated 11.08.2000 and final order No. 696/2000.
2. The issue involved is that certain garments were exported by filing shipping bills on or before 31.12.1998 as evidenced from the shipping documents examination report. Further, enquiries revealed that the subject goods exported, covered by the shipping documents had not reached at the CFS area at Tuticorin Port and were stuffed in the containers on subsequent date after 31.12.1998. The Commissioner had therefore ordered for confiscation of the goods and imposed penalty under Sections 114(1) and (iii) of the Customs Act 1962 for violation of Sections 40 and 51 of the Customs Act and goods were held liable for confiscation under Section 113(d) of the Customs Act.
3. It appears that the proper officer of the Customs at the Tuticorin Port has examined and certified the relevant shipping bills after having conducted the examination of the same before the cut of 31.12.1998 and has allowed the subject shipment for export. We have held in a similar cases that cross-examination of this officer were sine qua non to determine whether the examination of the goods was conducted and if so at what place, what premises and what date, so that the issue in the matter can be resolved. Since this aspect of the officer’s cross-examination was not conducted in earlier case by the adjudication authority, and in this case no such request was made, we are also passing this final order, keeping in view, that in many similar matters order has been passed for violation of principles of natural justice, we remand of this case is also made for de novo adjudication, by directing that cross- examination of the officer should be got conducted. This will establish the facts which are under serious challenge.
4. In view of our findings, we set aside the impugned order and remand the matter to the Id. Commissioner for de novo adjudication.