Where all the factual facts are available on the records, the Tribunal couldn’t remand back the case
We are sharing with you an important judgment of the Hon’ble High Court, Bombay, in the case of L'Oreal India (Pvt.) Ltd. Vs. Union of India [(2014) 51 taxmann.com 561 (Bombay)] on following issue:
Whether the Tribunal could remand back the case even though all factual facts are available on the records?
Facts & background:
L'Oreal India (Pvt.) Ltd. (“the Petitioner”) was engaged in the manufacture of cosmetic products classified into two categories, namely Technical products cleared to Salon/ Beauty Parlour(“Technical products”) and Retail sale products meant for sale to consumers (“Retail sale products”). The Petitioner was valuing both the products under Section 4A of the Central Excise Act, 1944 (“the Excise Act”), but, the Department argued that Technical products were to be valued as per Section 4 of the Excise Act.
The Adjudicating Authority after considering the reply of the Petitioner dropped the proceedings and held that both the products were to be valued under Section 4A of the Excise Act. Being aggrieved, the Department preferred an appeal before the Hon’ble CESTAT. The Hon’ble CESTAT set aside the Order of the Adjudicating Authority and directed the Adjudicating Authority to pass fresh order on merits regarding valuation of the Technical products and also after considering the issue of limitation.
Being aggrieved, the Petitioner filed a Writ petition before the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay arguing that since the matter was heard on merits before the Hon’ble Tribunal, the Tribunal should have decided the appeal and not remanded the matter back.
The Hon’ble High Court of Bombay relying upon the finding of the Apex Court in the case of M.G. Shahani& Co. (Delhi) Ltd. Vs. Collector of C. Excise [1994 (73) ELT 3] and after observing that the Tribunal had not remanded the matter seeking any additional facts, held as under:
- If, on materials on record, the Tribunal can analyse evidence and arrive at a factual conclusion, the Tribunal ought not to remand the matter and instead hear the matter and pass order on merits;
- Though dispute related to valuation of Technical products and the Adjudicating Authority held that both products are liable to be assessed under Section 4A of the Excise Act, the Tribunal should have decided appeal with reference to valuation of Technical products;
- It was not proper to set aside Adjudication Order and remand the case for fresh adjudication.
Hence, the Hon’ble High Court allowed the Writ petition and the matter was sent back to the Tribunal for disposal on merits.
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