Bombay HC Upholds Constitutional Vires Of Mandatory Pre-Deposit u/s 129EOf Customs Act

The Bombay High Court has upheld the constitutional validity of Section 129 E of the Indian Customs Act, 1962. It will result in making the pre-deposit mandatory for filing an appeal before the Tribunal or the Commissioner (Appeals) concerned. A bench of Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice GS Kulkarni pronounced this judgment on Monday.

The court noted: “The aim of the amended provision is also to curtail litigation which had assumed high proportions, leaving no time to the appellate authorities to devote the same to important issues. Considering these hard realities and to have an expeditious disposal of the statutory appeals, which undoubtedly is a necessary requirement of effective trade, commerce, and business. If such is the aim and insight behind the provision, it certainly cannot be held to be unreasonable, onerous, unfair or discriminatory.”

The court refused to accept the petitioner’s argument. The petitioner argued that the said provision was discriminatory.The court pointed out the judgment of the apex court in Vijay Prakash D Mehta and Jawahar Mehta vs Collector of Customs, Bombay, wherein it was held that the right to appeal is a statutory right, not an absolute one.

Thus, the two petitions were dismissed.

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