Uttaranchal High Court: A Division Bench of Ravi Malimath, A.C.J. and Narayan Singh Dhanik, J., allowed an appeal and modified an order passed by the CESTAT, New Delhi directing the appellant to pay a sum of Rs 40,00,000/- as pre-deposit.

The counsel for the appellant, Pulak Raj Mullick contended that the demand made on the appellant was of the sum of Rs 1,48,42,255, since the year 2017-18, there had been no production and that there were various liabilities on the appellant. It was contended that the appellant was not in a position to make the pre-deposit of such an amount placing his arguments on the amended Section 129-E of the Customs Act, 1962. He further pleaded that the appellant was willing to pay Rs 5,00,000 as pre-deposit, within a period of five months from that day, and the appeal may kindly be considered on merits. The counsel for the respondent, Shobhit Saharia on the contrary contended that the pre-deposit was a mandate of law and there was no hardship which the appellant was able to show and Section 129-E postulates payment of duty of 7½ % of the duty demanded.

The Court while allowing the appeal stated that the non-functioning of the assessee was undisputed, and material on record indicated various other losses and if the appellant was directed to make the ordered deposit it would cause undue hardship. Accepting the offer made by the appellant to pay Rs 5,00,000 within five months the Court modified the order given by CESTAT reducing the sum of pre-deposit to Rs. 5,00,000. [Texplas India (P) Ltd. v. Commissioner Customs, 2020 SCC OnLine Utt 459, decided on 06-08-2020]

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