SUPREME COURT HOLDS THAT LEVY OF DUTY AGAINST ANTI-DUMPING IS ONLY FOR A LIMITED PERIOD OF TIME

A Three Judge Bench of the #SupremeCourt comprising of Justices Arun Mishra, Vineet Saran and S. Ravindra Bhat passed a Judgment dated September 1, 2020 in the case of The Designated Authority & Ors. v. M/S The Andhra Petrochemicals Limited and held that levy of #antidumping #duty can only be for a limited #duration and not for later periods.

In this case, the Respondent had applied to the Central Government and sought for the imposition of Anti-Dumping Duty on imports of Normal Butanol or N-Butyl Alcohol (Goods) from Saudi Arabia into India. This led to the initiation of investigation by the Designated Authority by Notification dated 02.09.2016. However, the Designated Authority was of the opinion that it is not appropriate to impose Anti-Dumping Duty on the said Goods and therefore, terminated the investigation under Rule 14(b) of Anti-Dumping Rules.Being aggrieved, the Respondent filed a Writ Petition in the Telangana High Court,thereby challenging the Orders of the Designated Authority on the ground that these exports from Saudi Arabia were not just casual exports, but were aimed at capturing the Indian market, asthe performance of the domestic industry during the period of January to March, 2016 was adverse in terms of profits and returns on investments.

The Telangana High Court directed the Designated Authority to initiate an investigation into the alleged dumping and consequent injury to the domestic industry. But the Designated Authority conducted investigation only for a limited period of time, i.e. 3 Months. As a result, the High Court initiated Suo Moto Contempt Petition against the said Designated Authority and passed an Order dated 22.07.2009 directing the Central Government to choose a substitute Designated Authority on the ground that he failed to enlarge the period of investigation, as per the High Court’s directions.

Being aggrieved, the Appellant filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court against the Orders of the Telangana High Court. The Apex Court made the following observations:

  1. That as per Section 9A of the Customs Tariff Act 1975 and the procedure prescribed by the Rules, investigations should be completed within pre-determined time limits.
  2. That any investigation carried out for past periods would result in minimal levy and any investigation conducted for the future period would not be justified.
  3. Thus, in case the investigation is conducted in 2020 to determine if any anti-dumping had occurred in 2013-14, the levy of anti-dumping duty can only be for a limited duration and not for later period.

Thus,the Apex Court held that the High Court erred in reprimanding the Designated Authority, and directing his replacement, when he had only adhered to prescribed legal procedure. Therefore, the Supreme Court set aside the Impugned Orders of the High Court.

Suchitra Upadhyay

Associate

The Indian Lawyer

Edited By

Harini Daliparthy

Senior Associate

The Indian Lawyer

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