An Officer Who Did The Assessment Could Only Undertake Re-assessment Under Section 28 (4) Of Customs Act: Supreme Court
According to the Supreme Court, an officer who performed the assessment may only reassess under Section 28(4) of the Customs Act. The Court in this case considered whether the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had legal authority to issue a show cause notice under Section 28(4) of the Act for the recovery of duties allegedly not imposed or paid when the goods were cleared for import by a Deputy Commissioner of Customs who determined that the goods were exempted. Canon India Private Limited was served with a show cause notice under Section 28 (4), alleging that the Customs Authorities were coerced to clear the cameras by wilful misrepresentation and suppression of information about the cameras.
The bench, which included CJI SA Bobde, AS Bopanna, and V. Ramasubramanian, held that where one officer has exercised his assessment powers, the power to order re-assessment must be exercised by the same officer or his successor, and not by another officer of another department, even if he is appointed as an officer of the same rank. As a result, the court determined that the Additional Director General of DRI was not "the" appropriate officer to exercise the power under Section28(4), and that the recovery proceedings in this case were initiated without jurisdiction and should be dismissed.