Article 32 Cannot Be Used to Short-Circuit Revenue Litigation Process: Supreme Court Reiterates.

 On Monday, the Apex Court held that Article 32 of the Constitution of India is an incredibly valuable jurisdiction and its purpose is to safeguard Fundamental Rights. However, it should not be used to short-circuit the decided process.

The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee was addressing a writ petition filed by the Century Metal Recycling Pvt. Ltd. the petition opposed the custom authorities’ valuation of imported aluminium scrap.

The Court stated that the above is not the intended purpose of Article 32. Justice Chandrachud said that where Article 136 of the Constitution appeals, proceedings before the CESTAT are present, hence, the grievance cannot come under Article 32. He commented that the jurisdiction of Article 32 cannot be exercised in such circumstances and rejected entertaining the plea.

The counsel for the petitioner, Advocate R. Balasubramanian argued that the expenditure on litigation extended into crores of rupees. Additionally, he stated that it is a waste of time, financial resources and effort, both for himself and for the government. He also highlighted that it is not feasible for the Supreme Court to examine the facts of all cases, under revenue litigation, pending adjudication before the Commissioner and relevant authorities due to their large number. Justice Chandrachud observed that the Apex Court will not function like this.  

 

Allowing the withdrawal of the petition, the judge also stated that the Customs department is bound by the judgements of the Court in various issues such as the Sanjivini (Sanjivini Non-Ferrous Trading Pvt. Ltd.; 2018) and a recent one of their own pleas, Century Metal Recycling Pvt. Ltd.; 2019.

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