CA Pratibha Goyal | Jan 9, 2023 | Views 11778
MEIS Benefit cannot be denied due to error of not marking ‘Y’ against the reward column: High court
The controversy, in the present petition, relates to denial of the benefits under the MEIS as framed under Chapter 3 of Foreign Trade Policy. The petitioner states that it had, during the period June, 2016 to September, 2016 exported aluminium hydroxide under 97 different separate Shipping Bills. The Shipping Bills were accompanied by a declaration to the effect that the petitioner intended to claim rewards under MEIS, however, in the electronic filing, the petitioner had not tick/marked ‘Y’ in the reward column for claiming such benefits, in respect of the said shipping bills. Consequently, the details of the Shipping Bills in question (97 in number) were not transmitted electronically from respondent no.4 to respondent no.2. Resultantly, the petitioner has been denied MEIS scrips of a value of ₹34,15,924/-.
The learned counsel appearing for the respondents, states that a committee of officers, which was constituted pursuant to orders passed in another matter Jubilant Biosys Limited v Direcotrate General of Foreign Trade and Others: W.P.(C) 14754/2022 – has taken a lenient view. In the said case, the petitioner (Jubilant Biosys Limited) had been denied the benefit of MEIS scheme for somewhat similar reason. Pursuant to the order passed by the Court in that petition, a meeting of the concerned officers was held and the said officers had decided to extend the benefit of the MEIS scheme to the petitioner in question. It is relevant to note that the concerned officers had decided that Customs will transmit the shipping bills to DGFT through a manual intervention at ICEGATE. The DGFT, based on the said electronic transmission, and keeping in view the manual amendments made, would process the case for further grant of MEIS benefits as an exceptional matter.
In view of the decision of the concerned officers taken at the meeting held on 08.12.2022, allowed the aforesaid petition by an order dated 16.12.2022. The relevant extract of the said order reads as under:
“6. This Court is informed that in compliance with the aforesaid order, a meeting of concerned officers was held on 08.12.2022. A copy of the minutes of the said meeting had been handed over to this Court. Paragraph nos. 4 and 5 of the said minutes read as under:
“4. In exceptional cases the customs as per defined procedure amends the SBs from ‘N’ to ‘Y’ in MEIS SBs under section 149 of Customs act. However post EGM such amendments are done in a manual mode and no electronic transmission of such manual amendments is possible to the DGFT server.
5. Nothing the Hon’ble Court’s directions in this individual case it was decided that Customs will transmit the ‘N’ SBs to DGFT server through a manual intervention at ICEGATE, DGFT based on the electronic transmission and keeping in view the manual amendments made, will process the case for further for grant of MEIS benefits as exceptional manner.”
7. In view of the aforesaid decision, respondent no.4 shall transmit the corrected bills as decided in terms of paragraph no. 5 of the minutes, as stated above, within a period of two weeks from today. The petitioner’s claim for benefits under MEIS shall be decided within a period of six weeks thereafter.”
This Court is of the view that the similar benefits ought to be extended to the petitioner in this case as well. The petitioner’s case stands on a better footing as it had clearly indicated that it intended to take the benefit of the MEIS scheme. Thus, the error of not marking ‘Y’ against the reward column is clearly an inadvertent error.
In view of the above, respondent no.4 shall transmit the corrected bills through manual intervention at ICEGATE within a period of two weeks from today. The DGFT (respondent no.2) shall process the petitioner’s claim for benefits under the MEIS scheme within a period of six weeks thereafter.
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