CESTAT | Non-consideration of the documents in support of claims made by the appellant amounts to passing a non-speaking order

Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), Chennai: Coram of P. Dinesha (Member)  and P. Venkata Subba Rao (Member) allowed the application filed by the appellant to praying the Tribunal to recall and rehear the final order passed by the same Bench on 22-02-2018 on the ground that the said order suffered from rectifiable mistakes. The Bench had passed an order whereby they held that the appellant had rendered services other than legal services, and the same was under dispute.

The main contentions put forth by the appellant was that he had furnished all the documents in support of his legal services rendered to Essel Mining Co. Ltd., Gujarat Sidhee Cement Ltd., and to Express Publication of (Madurai) Ltd., but the same was not considered and hence, non-consideration must render the impugned final order a non-speaking order. With regard to the issue of revenue neutrality, the appellant had relied on a decision of the jurisdictional High Court, which was also not referred to nor considered and such non-consideration must again render the impugned final order a non-speaking order. Therefore, the non-consideration of the above orders, as well as documents, must result in the impugned final order being erroneous and amenable to rectification.

On the other hand, the respondent opposed the above contentions arguing that the Bench had passed the impugned final order after hearing both sides and after perusing the appeal records. Since there was no error on record, no intervention was required. Also, interfering with the impugned final order would amount to review, which is not permissible under the law.

The Tribunal pointed out that there was no mention nor discussion as to the applicability of various decisions relied on by the appellant in the impugned final order. There was no dispute that non-consideration of a judgment of the jurisdictional High Court or Supreme Court in itself amounts to a mistake/error on the face of the very order and the same must be rectified. The same was held in V. Guard Industries Ltd. v. Commercial Tax Officer, reported in 2003 (158) E.L.T.806 (Mad.). As there was no discussion on all the various documents relied on by the applicant and furnished in the paper compilation, the Tribunal held that non-consideration of the same amounts to passing a non-speaking order. The impugned final order needed to be recalled and reheard. They directed the Registry to relist the appeal for fresh hearing.[S. Gurumurthy v. Commr. of Central Excise, 2019 SCC OnLine CESTAT 255, decided on 09-09-2019]

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