1. This is an appeal transferred to the Tribunal under Section 131B of the Customs Act. The appellants' plead ignorance of the Public Notice No. 46 dated 1-12-80 amending para 198 (4) of the Appendix 9 of the A.M. 1981 Policy. They plead that they opened the letter of credit on 9-12-80 in terms of the earlier OGL for imports of Ampicillin Sodium under Appendix 10, Sr. No. (1) of A.M. 1981 Policy. The appellants later came to know of the change in the policy and in this behalf they have relied on the letter dated 26-10-81 from All India Importers Association addressed to the appellants and letter dated 14-10-81 from M/s. Chemexcil, Bombay to the appellants. The appellants, therefore, seek to show that the change in the import policy though effective from 1-12-80, was not known to them. In view of these circumstances, they requested for waiving the redemption fine. The departmental representative has pointed out that the original order of the Asstt.
Collector covers 4 consignments under different Bills of Entries each.
The fine levied by the Asstt. Collector was Rs. 6,000/- in lieu of confiscation of goods covered by each Bill of Entry. Therefore, the appellants should have filed separate revision applications in each case to the Government, and the amount involved in each case being Rs. 10,000/- and less, the matter would still remain within the jurisdiction of the Government of India and cannot be transferred to the Tribunal. However, in case it is felt that the Appellate Collector decided 4 appeals under a single order, only one appeal lies to the Tribunal and that Government of India do not have jurisdiction in the matter, he would submit that due leniency has been shown by the Asstt.
Collector of Customs (Appeals) and no further leniency is warranted.
The fine as reduced by the Collector of Customs (Appeals) amounts to about of the value of the imported goods and this is very lenient. On these grounds, he has recommended the rejection of the appeal.
2. We have examined the submissions. On the grounds of jurisdiction we find that the Collector of Customs (Appeals) has issued one order and therefore it is against this order that the appellants have the grievance and filed the Revision Application. A single revision application is therefore in order and this is transferred to the Tribunal under Section 131-B (2) of the Customs Act, 1962. Under this provision of law, the Tribunal has to proceed with the' matter from the stage at which it was on the appointed day viz. 11-10-1982 and therefore, the single appeal covering 4 different Bills of Entry is in order. Accordingly, we proceed to dispose the appeal on merits. We have considered the appellant's submission of ignorance of the amendment brought about with effect from 1-12-80 and their request for leniency.
We find that the appeal does not bring forth any fresh grounds justifying further leniency. The import of goods has been rightly held as offending the Import Trade and Control Order and the fine as reduced by the order of the Collector of Customs (Appeals) is quite lenient.
Even though the letter of credit was opened on 9-12-80, the appellants could have stopped the import of goods by asking their suppliers to do so. No attempt was made to stop the import. Considering these circumstances, we find that there is no scope for further leniency.
Accordingly, we confirm the orders of the lower authorities and reject the appeal.