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Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004

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`No coercive action for recovery of excise dues on stay applications'

K.R. Srivats

New Delhi , June 1

THE Finance Ministry has provided guidance to the excise field formations on the course of action to be taken for recovery of arrears in cases where the stay application against the original orders of the excise commissioners is pending before the customs, excise and service tax appellate tribunal (CESTAT).

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has now instructed the field officers that they should refrain from taking coercive measures to recover the excise dues till the period of six months of filing a stay petition before CESTAT or till the disposal of the petition, whichever is earlier.

The Board has, however, in its circular made it clear that this instruction would be applicable only in respect of those stay applications that are submitted with appeals filed before CESTAT (first stage appeals) against the orders-in-original of the commissioners.

In the case of orders-in-original of the commissioners where the first appeal lies with the Tribunal and no stay application is filed along with the appeal, the CBEC has advised that recovery proceedings may be initiated after 90 days from the date of communication of the order.

Where conditional stay orders are issued specifying the time limit for fulfilment of the conditions but the conditions are not fulfilled as per the directions of the Tribunal, the CBEC has advised that recovery proceedings should be initiated immediately after the lapse of the time period prescribed in the appellate stay order for fulfilment of the conditions.

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