1. On 21st January 1980 the petitioners imported a consignment of Sorbitol Liquid 70%, U.S.P. At the time of clearance thereof the petitioners pointed out to the Customs authorities that the goods were used in the preparation of pharmaceutical formulations and, as such, were exempted from countervailing duty by reason of Notification No. 55/75. By an order dated 22nd March 1980, the Assistant Collector of Customs assessed the goods to countervailing duty. The petitioners filed an appeal. On 25th July 1980 the Appellate Collector of Customs allowed the appeal and directed refund of the countervailing duty which had been collected.
2. In the meantime, the petitioners imported four other consignments of the goods and countervailing duty was levied and paid thereon. By their Refund Application dated 31st July 1980 the petitioners applied for refund of the countervailing duty collected and based the claim for refund upon the appellate order dated 25th July 1980. On 30th October 1980, the Assistant Collector of Customs, Refund Department, wrote to the petitioners
The assessment of Sorbitol Liquid is under review action. Hence your refund claims are being treated as administratively closed. The same will be processed only after the review action is complete.
3. This petition, filed on 17th December 1980, seeks the quashing of the letter dated 30th October 1980 and a direction to the Respondents to refund the countervailing duty collected on the 4 latter consignments in the sum of Rs. 21,742.82.
4. There is no affidavit-in-reply. Mr. Presswala, learned Counsel for the Respondents, says that he has no instructions.
5 The citizen cannot be kept waiting indefinitely for review. The petitioners have not even thus far received notice of review There is no information available as to what has happened to the proposed review.
6. In the circumstances, the Respondents must be held bound by the order dated 25th July 1980 passed by the Appellate Collector of Customs land are directed by a writ of mandamus to refund to the petitioners the sum of Rs. 21,742.82 collected as and by way of countervailing duty within a period of four weeks from today.
Rule accordingly, with costs.