The operation of an order passed by a single judge on October 28 in favour of V. V. Minerals India, a beach sand mining company represented by Managing Partner S Vaikundarajan, was stayed by a Division Bench of the Madras High Court Bench. The stay was granted following a writ appeal rightly raised by the company, against the single judge’s order directing the Commissioner to decide the preliminary issue of jurisdiction, before the show cause notice.
As per the show cause notice issued on December 26 the company had to explain why it should not be directed to pay central excise for certain minerals obtained by it between March 1, 2011 and March 1, 2014 after considering them as concentrates. Defending which, the company’s writ petition challenging the notice got the case dismissed on March 10 this year. Additionally, the company pointed out that the Commissioner was denying access to many documents sought by the company. The Commissioner was directed by the High Court to provide the company with the necessary documents for issuing the notice to help the company present an effective reply.
The company also filed a writ petition stating that it had obtained the mining lease from the State government. V. V. Minerals justifiably claimed that all its plants used for extracting minerals from sand technically fall under the ‘mines’ category and thus are exempted of the central excise. In spite of the Commissioner denying the allegations raised on him, the single judge agreed with the company and justified its writ appeal on basis that its plants fell under the definition of mines as per judgements passed by various civil as well as criminal courts in different cases related to the firm and hence the present writ appeal.
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