New Delhi: The Supreme Court which had recalled its judgement of granting Rs803 crore excise duty relief yesterday to ITC Ltd, yesterday maintained its judgment by quashing the orders passed by the Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal (CEGAT) rejecting the plea of the tobacco company.
A bench headed by justice Ruma Pal pronounced the judgment allowing the appeals filed by ITC against the orders of the CEGAT but withdrew its judgment within minutes taking a serious view of the unsigned order having been taken out of the court though it was given to counsel only to have a look at it.
Justice Ruma Pal told counsel yesterday that she was reserving the judgment again and indicated that the consequences of counsel''s action would be `very costly.'' But yesterday justice Ruma Pal and justice P Venkatarama Reddi pronounced the judgment allowing ITC''s appeals and dismissing the appeals filed by the commissioner of central excise.
Thursday afternoon, the counsel gave it in writing tendering apology and explaining the circumstances in which the order was inadvertently taken out along with the case bundle, there was no mention about it yesterday''s order.
The revenue department had alleged that the ITC had colluded with retailers in selling cigarettes at a price higher than the maximum retail price printed on the package and levied excise duty on the effective price.