The High Court rejects the Revenue's reference in a 41 year old case. The question raised is - Whether it's "gold in primary form" or "bangles"?

1st December, 2015 : Collector of Customs& CEx Vs Smt. Kamala Rani Ray

The High Court of Orissa dismissed the Central Excise reference against CEGAT order of July, 1993. What's unique about this case is, its 41 year old with a fairly convoluted history. For the sake of brevity we will escape all that.

The case begins in February, 1974 when the tax authorities raided the defendent's residence and seized what was then stated to be "34 pieces of circular slab of gold in crude form of uneven shape and size". This fact was also set out in the Panchanama. Accordingly,  the department seized it by claiming that it was gold in primary form.

Later, when the items were physically examined by the Addl. Collector in the presence of the  Party, what was stated to be "circular slab of gold in crude form" in the Panchanama, turned out to be gold "bangles are of different sizes having design on the outer side"

It was based on these "vivid" facts set out by the Addl. Collector, the Tribunal ruled in favour of the respondent/ defendant.  The Hon'ble High Court rejected the Revenue's SJC while upholding the tribunal's order.

In all this what is curious is that 34 bangles carrying designs were being passed of "circular slab of gold in crude form". This has even been stated and confirmed in the Panchanama fact when actually the items later turned out to be "bangles".