SetCom can’t settle cases of gold smuggling : CBEC clarifies

CLARIFICATION ON JURISDICTION OF SETTLEMENT COMMISSION (CUSTOMS, CENTRAL EXCISE & SERVICE TAX) IN RESPECT OF CASES OF GOLD SMUGGLING

INSTRUCTION [F.NO.275/46/2015-CX.8A], DATED 1-10-2015

Board has received references from the field formations in respect of the jurisdiction of the Settlement Commission in the settlement of the cases of gold smuggling. The Mumbai bench of the Settlement Commission had decided some cases holding that they have the jurisdiction even in respect of goods specified under section 123 of the Customs Act, 1962, and have accordingly allowed the Settlement of cases of gold smuggling. However, a divergent view was taken by the Kolkata bench of the Settlement Commission.

2. The said issue has been considered by the Delhi High Court in case of Additional Commissioner of Customs vs Shri Ram Niwas Verma [W.P. (C) No. 7363/2014 [(2015) 61 taxmann.com 2 (Delhi)] & CM 17221/2014 vide its order dated 25th August 2015, holding that Settlement Commission has no jurisdiction to decide cases in relation to smuggling of the goods specified under section 123 of Customs Act,1962.

3. In view of the said order of the Delhi High Court, it is clarified that Settlement Commission has no jurisdiction to entertain the matters in relation to the goods specified under section 123 of the Customs Act, 1962 which include Gold. In case the Settlement Commission admits any such matter for settlement, the jurisdictional field formation should challenge the same in High Court by way of Writ, at the stage of admission.

4. Above instructions may be brought to the knowledge of all formations within your jurisdiction.

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