Joint Commissioner Of Customs Vs. Official Liquidator Co. – 2017 (7) G.S.T.L. 265 (High Court – Delhi)

Liquidator cannot reject the claim of custom authorities if application filed in proper format.

Facts: The appellant filed an appeal in the High Court of Delhi against an order passed by the official liquidator whereby the claim of the customs authorities against the company in liquidation was rejected by the Official Liquidator on the ground that order was passed by custom authorities without informing the Official Liquidator of the proceedings pending before it despite the fact that winding up order was passed on an earlier date.

Held: The Hon’ble Court held that the facts of the matter are similar to S.V. Kondaskar, official liquidator and liquidator of the Colaba Land & Mills Co. Ltd vs. V. M. Deshpande, Income Tax officer, Companies Circle I(8), Bombay and Anr., AIR 1972 SC 878 and Sales Tax Officer, Central Circle, New Delhi v. Byford Ltd. (1984) 55 Compcas 204 (Delhi). hence once after inviting claim of the customs authority; asking it to file it in proper format with documents, the Official Liquidator should not have rejected it on grounds that it ought to have been given an opportunity to contest the customs duty/penalty levied upon the respondent company by Customs authorities; the duty/penalty having been levied upon the respondent company under the provisions of Section 117 of the Customs Act, 1962 by following a procedure established by law. Hence, the impugned order dated 23-5-2014 passed by the Official Liquidator needs to be set aside and the claim filed by the Customs authorities need to be considered and examined as per law by the Official Liquidator.

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