1. Originally preferred as a revision application before the Central Government, on transfer to this Tribunal the same is being treated as an appeal. This appeal is directed against the order dated 8th August, 1980 passed by the Appellate Collector of Customs, Bombay. By the said order the learned Appellate Collector upheld the order dated 14.3.1980 passed by the Assistant Collector of Customs under which he ordered enhancement of the c.i.f. price of the goods imported by the appellants from US $ 1150 to US $ 1250 per metric tonne.
2. At the outset the learned consultant for the appellants invited our attention to the order passed by the Assistant Collector. He pointed out that the order of the Assistant Collector states that the indent in the present case was placed in August, 1979 and thereafter has proceeded to compare the ruling price at the relevant time with the price of the imported goods. However, the indent of the appellants in the present case is dated 24.12.1979. According to Shri Krishnamurthy, the Assistant Collector has taken note of some other indent and not the indent of the appellants. Shri Krishnamurthy pointed out another peculiar feature of the order passed by the Assistant Collector. In the said order the Assistant Collector has observed "Since this is not a normal trade discount given to all the buyers, it cannot be allowed.
The discount in question being of a special nature, it is disallowed and the value enhanced." Shri Krishnamurthy pointed out that in the two invoices which covered two items of the bill of entry the prices quoted are net and there is no mention whatsoever of any trade discount having been shown. This according to Shri Krishnamurthy further supports his point that in all probability the Assistant Collector was referring to the record of some other case and not to the record of the appellants' case. Shri Krishnamurthy submitted that ex facie there are serious infirmities in the order passed by the Assistant Collector. As the findings of the Appellate Collector would have been arrived at with reference to the order of Assistant Collector, it could be safely assumed that the material placed before the Appellate Collector was also factually wrong. Shri Krishnamurthy, therefore, submitted that the order of the Assistant Collector as well as the Appellate Collector were not sustainable in Law. He sought suitable relief as prayed by the appellants.
3. On perusal of the record we find that submissions made by Shri Krishnamurthy are correct. The Assistant Collector's order refers to an indent placed in August, 1979 whereas the indent placed by the appellants is dated 24.12 1979. We also observe that the prices quoted in the invoices produced by the appellants along with the B/E show the net c.i.f. price; there is no mention of any discount having been allowed. We also observe that the Assistant Collector in his order has made a mention that the importer had met the Assistant Collector personally and showed all the correspondence in support of his case.
However, the Assistant Collector has not adverted to the nature of the correspondence which was shown to him and why such evidence was discarded by him. More importantly, no cogent ground has been advanced by the Assistant Collector to justify his decision to enhance the assessable value of the goods from USS 1150 to USS 1250 per metric tonne. All the above mentioned infirmities are of a serious nature and show a lack of proper application of mind to such an important matter on the part of the lower authorities. We have, therefore, no hesitation to set aside order dated 14.3.1980 passed by the Assistant Collector and order dated 8.8.1980 passed by the Appellate Collector of Customs, Bombay, confirming the aforesaid order of the Assistant Collector. In the result, the appeal is allowed and the matter is remanded to the Assistant Collector for de novo adjudication. The Assistant Collector will afford opportunity to the appellants to produce all available material in support of their claim. Likewise, it will be open to the lower authorities to rely on contemporaneous documentary material or such other evidence that may be in their possession and relevant to the present case.
4. As it is an old matter it should be disposed on a high priority basis.