Comm. of Customs & ors
N. Rahmania Banaspati & Vegetable Ghee Products Ltd.
MM Ruhul Amin CJ
Md. Joynul Abedin J
Md. Abdul Matin J
Commissioner of Customs and others……….Petitioner (In all the cases)
M/S. N. Rahmania Banaspati & Vegetable Ghee Products Ltd…………Respondents
(In Civil Petition No. 1265 of 1999)
National Vegetable Oil Ltd…………..Respondents (In Civil Petition No. 1266 of 1999)
M/S. M.K Refinery (Pvt.) Ltd……….Respondents (In Civil Petition No. 1267 of 1999)
M/S. T.K. Refinery Ltd………………….Respondents (In Civil Petition No.1268 of 1999)
M/S. Bengle Food Ltd………….Respondents (In Civil Petition No.1269 of 1999)
M/S. K.S.A. Refinery and Vegetable Products Ltd………Respondents (In Civil Petition No. 1270 of 1999)
M/S. Mostafa Vegetable Oil Ind. Ltd………….Respondents (In Civil Petition No. 1271 of 1999).
November 13, 2008.
Shathika Hossain, Additional Attorney General instructed by Mvi. Md.Wahidullah, Advocate-on-Record-For the Petitioner (In all the cases)
Not represented- the Respondents (In all the cases).
Civil Petition for Leave to Appeal Nos. 1265-1271 of 1999.
(From the judgment and order dated 11.6.1998 by the High Court Division in Writ Petition Nos.1494, 1475, 1474, 1100, 1101, 1120 & 1099 of 1994.)
Md. Joynul Abedin J.- These petitions for leave to appeal are directed against the common judgment and order dated 11.6.1998 passed by a Division Bench of the High Court Division in Writ Petition Nos. 1494, 1475, 1474, 1100, 1101, 1120 & 1099 of 1994 (heard and disposed analogously with 26 other writ petitions) directing the petitioners (writ respondents) to levy custom duties and other taxes on the basis of the invoice value or on the basis of the normal value and also declaring that the levy of custom duty on the basis of indicative value is of no legal effect.
2. The short fact, which is common in all the writ petitions, is that the respondent No.1 as writ petitioner filed the aforesaid writ petitions on the assertions that they being oil refinery industries imported raw materials palmo weu (imp) and crude permend crelales Oil(Dao) falling under H.S. Code No.1507.10 and 15511.10. Accordingly they opened various Latters of Credit on different dates for importing 2000 metric tons of crude palm Olien falling under H.S. Code 11511.10 at the rate of $354 per Metric Ton C & F value. On arrival of the said goods on 9.3.1993 Bills Entries were submitted and part of the goods was released on payment of customs duty on the basis of C & F value/Tariff value. Thereafter, the writ petitioners submitted Bills of Entries on 29.6.1994 for release of the remaining goods claiming release of the goods on payment of duties on C & F value/Tariff value. But the petitioners (writ respondents) assessed the duty and taxes on the basis of indicative value at the rate of $5424 per MT (meaning normal value) vide order 14.7.1994 and as such the writ petitioners impugned the aforesaid assessment order dated 14.7.1994 in the said writ petitions.
3. The petitioners (writ respondents) contested the writ petitions on the assertion that the writ petitioner’s goods were never assessed on the basis of indicative value but on the basis of normal value and such assessment was made in accordance with law.
4. On consideration of the assertions of both the sides the High Court Division by impugned judgments held that levy of customs duty on the basis of indicative value was without lawful authority and made the rules absolute. In this background the petitioners (writ-respondents) filed the aforesaid civil petitions for leave to appeal on similar grounds.
5. Ms. Shathika Hossain, the learned Additional Attorney General for the petitioners submits that the High Court Division erred in law in passing the impugned judgments directing to assess the imports either on the basis of invoice value or on the basis of normal value instead of accepting the order of assessment on indicative value treating the same as normal value determined by the assessing officer of the Customs taking into consideration the indicative information about the value of the goods given by the controller of valuation or the Board. He further submits that the High Court Division erred in law in making an observation about Non-issue and Non-production of notification fixing indicative value of F.O.B. per Metric Ton of Unrefined palm Oil and any other notification concerning levy of Customs duties and taxes on the basis of indicative value of unrefined palm oil, when the object of issuing a circular giving information/indication about existing normal price is not to assess the goods on the basis of such indicative value but to keep the assessment level officials aware of the existing normal price so that the assessment level officials at different Customs Houses/Stations may determine similar normal price at their different places of work taking into consideration of the indication about the value already provided read with other information, if any. He further submits that the High Court Division erred in law in holding that the levy of customs duty on the basis of indicative value does not have any leg to stand on in law inasmuch as the value shall always mean levy of duty on the basis of normal value.
6. We have heard the learned Additional Attorney General for the petitioners and perused the connected papers including the impugned judgments. We do not find any substance in the points raised. The High Court Division upon correct assessment of the materials on record arrived at a correct decision. We therefore find no reason to interfere with the same.
All the petitions are accordingly dismissed.
Source: VI ADC (2009) 412