Constitutional Law; Amin Merchant Vs. Chairman, Central Board of Excise & Revenue [Supreme Court of India, 22-07-2016]

Constitution of India – Article 14 – Customs Act, 1962 – Section 25 – Power to grant exemption from duty – budget proposals – Whether the budget proposals are duly passed and approved by the Parliament and whether the tariff rates fixed by the TRU are contrary to the legislative mandate – Whether Supreme Court can direct the Central Government to issue a notification under Section 25(1) of the Customs Act – Whether the compound alcoholic preparations of a kind used for the manufacturing of beverages fall under the category of alcoholic beverage – Whether there is any discrimination on the part of the Central Government in issuing a notification under Section 25(1) of the Customs Act in respect of other goods and contrary to Article 14 of the Constitution of India?

Held, the budget proposals are duly passed and approved by the Parliament and moreover, if the appellant is aggrieved by the particular tariff prescribed under the Finance Act and the same is contrary to the approved budget proposals, he ought to have questioned the same if permissible – it is not appropriate to issue any orders directing them to issue a notification under Section 25 (2) of the Act except on the grounds of discrimination – in the matter of taxation, the Court gives a greater latitude to the legislative discretion – It is always open to the parties to settle the dispute before the appropriate forum if they choose to do so – A Taxing Statute can be held to contravene Article 14 of the Constitution if it purports to impose certain duty on the same class of people differently and leads to obvious inequality. Such a material is not placed to come to a just conclusion that the action of the respondents is discriminative.

AIR 2016 SC 3920 : (2016) 9 SCC 191 : 2016 (7) Scale 336 : 2016 (4) RCR (Civil) 76 : 2016 (4) RAJ 702 : 2016 AIR (SCW) 3920 : 2016 (5) AIR Bom.R 715 : 2016 (338) ELT 164 : 2016 (4) JCR 18

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

(MADAN B. LOKUR) AND (N.V. RAMANA) JJ.

JULY 22, 2016

CIVIL APPEAL Nos.4676-4677 OF 2013

AMIN MERCHANT …. APPELLANT

VERSUS

CHAIRMAN, CENTRAL BOARD OF EXCISE & REVENUE & ORS. …. RESONDENTS

J U D G M E N T

N.V. RAMANA, J.

1. These appeals, by special leave, have been filed against the impugned judgment and order dated 02.09.2011 in Writ Petition No.1761 of 2009 and order dated 24.11.2011 in Review Petition No.24 of 2011 in Writ Petition No.1761 of 2009 respectively, of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, by which the High Court has dismissed the Writ Petition filed by the appellant herein and also dismissed the Review Petition by holding that no error apparent on record has been made out.

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