the auction notice under Section 85 of the Himachal Pradesh Public Moneys (Recovery of Dues) Act, 1973 (hereinafter be referred to as “the Act”) issued consequent to his failure to repay the two loans availed for purchase of a truck and establishing an industry for manufacture of steel trunks.- The Act provides for recovery of certain dues as arrears of land revenue by sending a certificate to the Collector, mentioning the sum due requesting that the sum together with costs may be recovered. The High Court erred in holding that the H.P. Public Moneys (Recovery of Dues) Act, 2000 repealing the earlier Act did not contain any provision that the remedy was without prejudice to the rights under any other law. The proceedings in a Suit and recovery under the Act as arrears of land revenue are under different laws governed by different procedures. A Suit is instituted in a Court of law and is governed by the Code of Civil Procedure while the proceedings under the Act are before the executive statutorily empowered. In C.C.E. vs. Ramdev Tobacco Company, (1991)(2)SCC 119, the distinction was noticed as follows :- “6…….There can be no doubt that ‘suit’ or ‘prosecution’ are those judicial or legal proceedings which are lodged in a court of law and not before any executive authority, even if a statutory one……” That the proceedings in a Suit could not be equated with a certificate proceeding was further noticed in ESI Corpn. vs. C.C. Santhakumar, (2007) 1 SCC 584, observing :- “25…….Therefore, it cannot be said that a proceeding for recovery as arrears of land revenue by issuing a certificate could be equated to either a suit, appeal or application in the court……” The High Court factually erred in holding that the trunk loan was time barred because the Appellant took no steps for recovery of the dues from 1996 till 2002 overlooking the Certificate dated 3.9.1994. In conclusion, it is held that the proceedings in a Suit are essentially different from proceedings under the Act. The withdrawal of the Suit was no bar to proceedings under the Act. There was no bar under the Act to the proceedings. There had been no abandonment of claim by the Appellant. It would be contrary to public policy to prevent the Appellant from recovering the loan. The recovery proceedings were not time barred. The order of the High Court is held to be unsustainable and is set aside. The auction notice dated 13.01.2005/15.01.2005 under Section 85 of the Act shall now proceed in accordance with law and be concluded at the earliest expeditiously.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.661 OF 2008 Himachal Pradesh Financial Corporation … Appellant Versus Anil Garg and others … Respondents JUDGMENT NAVIN SINHA, J. The Appellant is aggrieved by order dated 4.10.2005 allowing the writ petition of the Respondent, setting aside the auction notice under Section 85… Read More the auction notice under Section 85 of the Himachal Pradesh Public Moneys (Recovery of Dues) Act, 1973 (hereinafter be referred to as “the Act”) issued consequent to his failure to repay the two loans availed for purchase of a truck and establishing an industry for manufacture of steel trunks.- The Act provides for recovery of certain dues as arrears of land revenue by sending a certificate to the Collector, mentioning the sum due requesting that the sum together with costs may be recovered. The High Court erred in holding that the H.P. Public Moneys (Recovery of Dues) Act, 2000 repealing the earlier Act did not contain any provision that the remedy was without prejudice to the rights under any other law. The proceedings in a Suit and recovery under the Act as arrears of land revenue are under different laws governed by different procedures. A Suit is instituted in a Court of law and is governed by the Code of Civil Procedure while the proceedings under the Act are before the executive statutorily empowered. In C.C.E. vs. Ramdev Tobacco Company, (1991)(2)SCC 119, the distinction was noticed as follows :- “6…….There can be no doubt that ‘suit’ or ‘prosecution’ are those judicial or legal proceedings which are lodged in a court of law and not before any executive authority, even if a statutory one……” That the proceedings in a Suit could not be equated with a certificate proceeding was further noticed in ESI Corpn. vs. C.C. Santhakumar, (2007) 1 SCC 584, observing :- “25…….Therefore, it cannot be said that a proceeding for recovery as arrears of land revenue by issuing a certificate could be equated to either a suit, appeal or application in the court……” The High Court factually erred in holding that the trunk loan was time barred because the Appellant took no steps for recovery of the dues from 1996 till 2002 overlooking the Certificate dated 3.9.1994. In conclusion, it is held that the proceedings in a Suit are essentially different from proceedings under the Act. The withdrawal of the Suit was no bar to proceedings under the Act. There was no bar under the Act to the proceedings. There had been no abandonment of claim by the Appellant. It would be contrary to public policy to prevent the Appellant from recovering the loan. The recovery proceedings were not time barred. The order of the High Court is held to be unsustainable and is set aside. The auction notice dated 13.01.2005/15.01.2005 under Section 85 of the Act shall now proceed in accordance with law and be concluded at the earliest expeditiously.

whether “premium” collected by the appellant-Company on its subscribed share capital is “capital employed in the business of the Company” within the meaning of Section 35D of the Act so as to enable the Company to claim deduction of the said amount as prescribed under Section 35D of the Act? = Section 35D(3) of the Act with which we are concerned in these appeals reads as under: “Where the aggregate amount of the expenditure referred to in sub- section(2) exceeds an amount calculated at two and one-half percent- (a) of the cost of the project, or where the assessee is an Indian company, at the option of the company, of the capital employed in the business of the company, the excess shall be ignored for the purpose of computing the deduction allowable under sub- section(1); [Provided that where the aggregate amount of expenditure referred to in sub- section(2) is incurred after the 31st day of March, 1998, the provisions of this sub-section shall have effect as if for the words “two and one-half per cent”, the words “five percent” had been substituted.]* *Ins. by the Finance(No.2) Act, 1998(2) of 1998), sec,14(b)(w.e.f. 1-4- 1999)” 15) The expression “capital employed in the business of the company” is defined in the Explanation appended to the Section in clause (b) which reads as under: “(b) “capital employed in the business of the company” means- (i) in a case referred to in clause(i) of sub-section(1), the aggregate of the issued share capital, debentures and long term borrowings as on the last day of the previous year in which the business of the company commences; (ii) in a case referred to in clause(ii) of sub-section(1), the aggregate of the issued share capital, debentures and long term borrowings as on the last day of the previous year in which the extension of the industrial undertaking is completed or, as the case may be, the new industrial unit commences production or operation, in so far as such capita, debentures and long term borrowings have been issued or obtained in connection with the extension of the industrial undertaking or the setting up of the new industrial unit of the company;”- Section 78 of the Companies Act which deals with the “issue of shares at premium and discount” requires a Company to transfer the amount so collected as premium from the shareholders and keep the same in a separate account called “securities premium account”. It does not anywhere says that such amount be treated as part of capital of the company employed in the business for one or other purpose, as the case may be, even under the Companies Act. In the light of foregoing discussion, we find no merit in these appeals. The appeals thus fail and are accordingly dismissed.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL No.2162 OF 2007 M/s Berger Paints India Ltd. ….Appellant(s) VERSUS C.I.T., Delhi-V …Respondent(s) WITH CIVIL APPEAL No.2163 OF 2007 M/s Berger Paints India Ltd. ….Appellant(s) VERSUS C.I.T., Delhi-V …Respondent(s) J U D G M E N T Abhay Manohar Sapre, J. 1) These… Read More whether “premium” collected by the appellant-Company on its subscribed share capital is “capital employed in the business of the Company” within the meaning of Section 35D of the Act so as to enable the Company to claim deduction of the said amount as prescribed under Section 35D of the Act? = Section 35D(3) of the Act with which we are concerned in these appeals reads as under: “Where the aggregate amount of the expenditure referred to in sub- section(2) exceeds an amount calculated at two and one-half percent- (a) of the cost of the project, or where the assessee is an Indian company, at the option of the company, of the capital employed in the business of the company, the excess shall be ignored for the purpose of computing the deduction allowable under sub- section(1); [Provided that where the aggregate amount of expenditure referred to in sub- section(2) is incurred after the 31st day of March, 1998, the provisions of this sub-section shall have effect as if for the words “two and one-half per cent”, the words “five percent” had been substituted.]* *Ins. by the Finance(No.2) Act, 1998(2) of 1998), sec,14(b)(w.e.f. 1-4- 1999)” 15) The expression “capital employed in the business of the company” is defined in the Explanation appended to the Section in clause (b) which reads as under: “(b) “capital employed in the business of the company” means- (i) in a case referred to in clause(i) of sub-section(1), the aggregate of the issued share capital, debentures and long term borrowings as on the last day of the previous year in which the business of the company commences; (ii) in a case referred to in clause(ii) of sub-section(1), the aggregate of the issued share capital, debentures and long term borrowings as on the last day of the previous year in which the extension of the industrial undertaking is completed or, as the case may be, the new industrial unit commences production or operation, in so far as such capita, debentures and long term borrowings have been issued or obtained in connection with the extension of the industrial undertaking or the setting up of the new industrial unit of the company;”- Section 78 of the Companies Act which deals with the “issue of shares at premium and discount” requires a Company to transfer the amount so collected as premium from the shareholders and keep the same in a separate account called “securities premium account”. It does not anywhere says that such amount be treated as part of capital of the company employed in the business for one or other purpose, as the case may be, even under the Companies Act. In the light of foregoing discussion, we find no merit in these appeals. The appeals thus fail and are accordingly dismissed.

Latches in Investigation: (i) One of the major lacuna in the case is non- mentioning of the names of A2 & A5 by PW1 to the police at the earliest point of time. The High Court went wrong in observing that this will not amount to latches and it will not go to the root of the matter. These are the glaring defects which will virtually collapse the case of the prosecution. It is no doubt true that the FIR need not be an encyclopedia and also it need not contain all the details but when the names of A2 & A5 were not figured in the FIR it casts a doubt on the whole episode. According to the eyewitnesses, accused had inflicted major injuries and that was the reason for the death of the deceased. It is expected from a prudent man to disclose the names of accused. If the accused cannot be identified or not known to the PWs then it is not a serious thing to dwell upon but these people are very much known to PW1’s family. It therefore creates a serious doubt in the mind of the Court. (ii) The other glaring defect in the investigation is when A1 has sustained injuries and admittedly a complaint was given by his father, a duty is cast upon the prosecution to explain the injuries. The doctor has also categorically deposed about the injuries sustained by A1. These lapses on the part of Investigating Officer assume greater importance and prove to be fatal to the case of the prosecution. When the Investigating Officer deposed before the Court that the complaint given by A5’s father was investigated and he filed ‘B form’ and the case was closed, not marking the document is fatal to the case of prosecution. Investigating Officer further suppressed the fact that there was a direct evidence to seize the gun used by the deceased and register a complaint against the deceased under the relevant provisions of the Arms Act which is evident from the endorsement made on Exhibit P22. (iv) The Investigating Officer himself deposed that he had not seen the MOs and as per the punch witnesses also they were not seized. The Doctor (PW10) deposed that those articles were not placed before her and no opinion was sought. (v) PW2 was also an injured witness. According to the prosecution he was injured on 27-02-1991. But he went to the hospital on 08- 03-91 and the reasons for delay were left unexplained. It is settled law that mere latches on the part of Investigating Officer itself cannot be a ground for acquitting the accused. If that is the basis, then every criminal case will depend upon the will and design of the Investigating Officer. The Courts have to independently deal with the case and should arrive at a just conclusion beyond reasonable doubt basing on the evidence on record. Medical Evidence: When we look at the medical evidence, the Doctor (PW10) has categorically stated that the weapons were not sent to her. In the chief examination, it was stated that the injuries 1 & 4 on the body of the deceased are possible with chopper and club. But in the cross examination it was deposed that even if a person falls on a sharp object these injuries could happen. According to PW3, the deceased fell into the drain. As per the evidence of prosecution witnesses, accused by using the sharp edge of the weapon assaulted on the right side of the forehead but the Doctor’s evidence in this regard is that the deceased has not sustained incised wound on the forehead. PW10 further stated that if a person is assaulted with an object like MO4 it would result in fracture of frontal bone. (ii) The other ground is, when the father of A5 gave a complaint against the deceased’s family as the police filed ‘B form’ the same was closed and not filed before the Court. Apart from that, the direction of the Court to seize the gun of the deceased and file a case under the relevant provisions of the Arms Act was not brought to the notice of the Court. Non explanation of injuries on A5 is another major defect. Once there is a clear contradiction between the medical and the ocular evidence coupled with severe contradictions in the oral evidence, clear latches in investigation, then the benefit of doubt has to go to the accused. Going by the material on record, we disagree with the finding of the High Court that the ocular evidence and the medical evidence are in conformity with the case of prosecution to convict the accused. The High Court has brushed aside the vital defects involved in the prosecution case and in a very unconventional way convicted the accused. The Court should always make an endeavor to find the truth. A criminal offence is not only an offence against an individual but also against the society. There would be failure of justice if innocent man is punished. The Court should be able to perceive both sides i.e. the prosecution as well as the defence and in our considered opinion the judgment of the High Court suffers from several defects as discussed in the preceding paragraphs. Hence we deem it appropriate to set aside the judgment of the High Court and re-affirm the order of acquittal passed by the Trial Court. The accused shall be set at liberty provided they are not required in any other case. Accordingly the appeals are allowed.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 635 OF 2006 KRISHNEGOWDA & ORS. … APPELLANTS VERSUS STATE OF KARNATAKA BY ARKALGUD POLICE … RESPONDENT WITH CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1067 OF 2006 NANJE GOWDA & ANR. … APPELLANTS VERSUS STATE OF KARNATAKA BY ARKALGUD POLICE …RESPONDENT JUDGMENT N.V. RAMANA, J.… Read More Latches in Investigation: (i) One of the major lacuna in the case is non- mentioning of the names of A2 & A5 by PW1 to the police at the earliest point of time. The High Court went wrong in observing that this will not amount to latches and it will not go to the root of the matter. These are the glaring defects which will virtually collapse the case of the prosecution. It is no doubt true that the FIR need not be an encyclopedia and also it need not contain all the details but when the names of A2 & A5 were not figured in the FIR it casts a doubt on the whole episode. According to the eyewitnesses, accused had inflicted major injuries and that was the reason for the death of the deceased. It is expected from a prudent man to disclose the names of accused. If the accused cannot be identified or not known to the PWs then it is not a serious thing to dwell upon but these people are very much known to PW1’s family. It therefore creates a serious doubt in the mind of the Court. (ii) The other glaring defect in the investigation is when A1 has sustained injuries and admittedly a complaint was given by his father, a duty is cast upon the prosecution to explain the injuries. The doctor has also categorically deposed about the injuries sustained by A1. These lapses on the part of Investigating Officer assume greater importance and prove to be fatal to the case of the prosecution. When the Investigating Officer deposed before the Court that the complaint given by A5’s father was investigated and he filed ‘B form’ and the case was closed, not marking the document is fatal to the case of prosecution. Investigating Officer further suppressed the fact that there was a direct evidence to seize the gun used by the deceased and register a complaint against the deceased under the relevant provisions of the Arms Act which is evident from the endorsement made on Exhibit P22. (iv) The Investigating Officer himself deposed that he had not seen the MOs and as per the punch witnesses also they were not seized. The Doctor (PW10) deposed that those articles were not placed before her and no opinion was sought. (v) PW2 was also an injured witness. According to the prosecution he was injured on 27-02-1991. But he went to the hospital on 08- 03-91 and the reasons for delay were left unexplained. It is settled law that mere latches on the part of Investigating Officer itself cannot be a ground for acquitting the accused. If that is the basis, then every criminal case will depend upon the will and design of the Investigating Officer. The Courts have to independently deal with the case and should arrive at a just conclusion beyond reasonable doubt basing on the evidence on record. Medical Evidence: When we look at the medical evidence, the Doctor (PW10) has categorically stated that the weapons were not sent to her. In the chief examination, it was stated that the injuries 1 & 4 on the body of the deceased are possible with chopper and club. But in the cross examination it was deposed that even if a person falls on a sharp object these injuries could happen. According to PW3, the deceased fell into the drain. As per the evidence of prosecution witnesses, accused by using the sharp edge of the weapon assaulted on the right side of the forehead but the Doctor’s evidence in this regard is that the deceased has not sustained incised wound on the forehead. PW10 further stated that if a person is assaulted with an object like MO4 it would result in fracture of frontal bone. (ii) The other ground is, when the father of A5 gave a complaint against the deceased’s family as the police filed ‘B form’ the same was closed and not filed before the Court. Apart from that, the direction of the Court to seize the gun of the deceased and file a case under the relevant provisions of the Arms Act was not brought to the notice of the Court. Non explanation of injuries on A5 is another major defect. Once there is a clear contradiction between the medical and the ocular evidence coupled with severe contradictions in the oral evidence, clear latches in investigation, then the benefit of doubt has to go to the accused. Going by the material on record, we disagree with the finding of the High Court that the ocular evidence and the medical evidence are in conformity with the case of prosecution to convict the accused. The High Court has brushed aside the vital defects involved in the prosecution case and in a very unconventional way convicted the accused. The Court should always make an endeavor to find the truth. A criminal offence is not only an offence against an individual but also against the society. There would be failure of justice if innocent man is punished. The Court should be able to perceive both sides i.e. the prosecution as well as the defence and in our considered opinion the judgment of the High Court suffers from several defects as discussed in the preceding paragraphs. Hence we deem it appropriate to set aside the judgment of the High Court and re-affirm the order of acquittal passed by the Trial Court. The accused shall be set at liberty provided they are not required in any other case. Accordingly the appeals are allowed.

whether sec.15 [2] of Hindu Succession Act applies ?= Perumal Naidu bequeathed his properties to all his heirs including his two daughters by conferring on them “absolute interest” and not the “life interest” in the properties. A fortiori, Alamelu Ammal and the defendant, therefore, acquired absolute ownership rights in the suit properties on the strength of the Will. They, therefore, rightly got their names recorded in the Revenue Records in 1957 itself and continued to exercise their ownership rights till 1987 without any interference from anyone including plaintiffs or/and their predecessor-in-title. One cannot dispute a legal proposition that once a heir becomes the absolute owner of the property by virtue of a Will then as a necessary consequence, he/she is entitled to alienate such property by any mode permissible in law to anyone. Alamelu Ammal did it when she alienated her share by executing a Will in favour of the defendant(her sister). It was legally permissible. 42) If however, Courts had held in the plaintiffs’ favour that the heir got only “life interest” in the property through Will of Perumal Naidu then perhaps on the death of such heir, her share may have devolved on the surviving heirs (reversioners) of father (Perumal Naidu) in terms of Section 15(2) of the Act subject to proving other conditions. Such was, however, not the case. we did not consider it necessary to examine the meaning of the words “any property inherited by a female Hindu from her father or mother” occurring in Section 15(2)(a) of the Act for deciding a question as to whether such expression would include “a property received by a female Hindu by Will from her father or mother” or it would include only those properties which are devolved on female by natural succession on the death of her father or mother. In this case, this question need not be decided once we have held that Section 15(2) of the Act has no application to the facts of this case. 45) As a consequence, the appeal succeeds and is allowed. The impugned judgment is set aside and that of the trial Court is restored resulting in dismissal of the suit filed by the plaintiffs.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL No. 4490 OF 2017 (ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) No.22148/2013) Karunanidhi ….Appellant(s) VERSUS Seetharama Naidu & Ors. …Respondent(s) J U D G M E N T Abhay Manohar Sapre, J. 1) Leave granted. 2) This appeal is filed by the legal representative of… Read More whether sec.15 [2] of Hindu Succession Act applies ?= Perumal Naidu bequeathed his properties to all his heirs including his two daughters by conferring on them “absolute interest” and not the “life interest” in the properties. A fortiori, Alamelu Ammal and the defendant, therefore, acquired absolute ownership rights in the suit properties on the strength of the Will. They, therefore, rightly got their names recorded in the Revenue Records in 1957 itself and continued to exercise their ownership rights till 1987 without any interference from anyone including plaintiffs or/and their predecessor-in-title. One cannot dispute a legal proposition that once a heir becomes the absolute owner of the property by virtue of a Will then as a necessary consequence, he/she is entitled to alienate such property by any mode permissible in law to anyone. Alamelu Ammal did it when she alienated her share by executing a Will in favour of the defendant(her sister). It was legally permissible. 42) If however, Courts had held in the plaintiffs’ favour that the heir got only “life interest” in the property through Will of Perumal Naidu then perhaps on the death of such heir, her share may have devolved on the surviving heirs (reversioners) of father (Perumal Naidu) in terms of Section 15(2) of the Act subject to proving other conditions. Such was, however, not the case. we did not consider it necessary to examine the meaning of the words “any property inherited by a female Hindu from her father or mother” occurring in Section 15(2)(a) of the Act for deciding a question as to whether such expression would include “a property received by a female Hindu by Will from her father or mother” or it would include only those properties which are devolved on female by natural succession on the death of her father or mother. In this case, this question need not be decided once we have held that Section 15(2) of the Act has no application to the facts of this case. 45) As a consequence, the appeal succeeds and is allowed. The impugned judgment is set aside and that of the trial Court is restored resulting in dismissal of the suit filed by the plaintiffs.

we hold : i) the casual worker after obtaining temporary status is entitled to reckon 50% of his services till he is regularised on a regular/temporary post for the purposes of calculation of pension. ii) the casual worker before obtaining the temporary status is also entitled to reckon 50% of casual service for purposes of pension. iii) Those casual workers who are appointed to any post either substantively or in officiating or in temporary capacity are entitled to reckon the entire period from date of taking charge to such post as per Rule 20 of Rules, 1993. iv) It is open to Pension Sanctioning Authority to recommend for relaxation in deserving case to the Railway Board for dispensing with or relaxing requirement of any rule with regard to those casual workers who have been subsequently absorbed against the post and do not fulfill the requirement of existing rule for grant of pension, in deserving cases. On a request made in writing, the Pension Sanctioning Authority shall consider as to whether any particular case deserves to be considered for recommendation for relaxation under Rule 107 of Rules, 1993. 56. In result, all the appeals are allowed. The impugned judgments of Delhi High Court are set aside. The writ petitions filed by the appellants are allowed, the judgments of Central Administrative Tribunal are set aside and the Original Applications filed by the respondents are disposed of in terms of what we have held in para 55 as above.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3938 OF 2017 (ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO. 23723 OF 2015 UNION OF INDIA & ORS. …. APPELLANTS VERSUS RAKESH KUMAR & ORS. …. RESPONDENTS WITH C.A .NO.3939 OF 2017 (ARISING OUT OF SLP(C)NO.23725 OF 2015), C.A. NO.3940 OF 2017 (ARISING… Read More we hold : i) the casual worker after obtaining temporary status is entitled to reckon 50% of his services till he is regularised on a regular/temporary post for the purposes of calculation of pension. ii) the casual worker before obtaining the temporary status is also entitled to reckon 50% of casual service for purposes of pension. iii) Those casual workers who are appointed to any post either substantively or in officiating or in temporary capacity are entitled to reckon the entire period from date of taking charge to such post as per Rule 20 of Rules, 1993. iv) It is open to Pension Sanctioning Authority to recommend for relaxation in deserving case to the Railway Board for dispensing with or relaxing requirement of any rule with regard to those casual workers who have been subsequently absorbed against the post and do not fulfill the requirement of existing rule for grant of pension, in deserving cases. On a request made in writing, the Pension Sanctioning Authority shall consider as to whether any particular case deserves to be considered for recommendation for relaxation under Rule 107 of Rules, 1993. 56. In result, all the appeals are allowed. The impugned judgments of Delhi High Court are set aside. The writ petitions filed by the appellants are allowed, the judgments of Central Administrative Tribunal are set aside and the Original Applications filed by the respondents are disposed of in terms of what we have held in para 55 as above.

Sub-rule (3) prescribes levy and collection of a lump sum of Rs.5 lakhs per month in cases of those manufacturers who have a total furnace capacity of three metric tonnes installed in their factories. However, such a scheme is available at the option of the assessee. In other words, a manufacturer has a choice to make a lump sum payment of Rs.5 lakhs, irrespective of his actual production for that month, in two instalments instead of paying the duty at the rate of Rs.750/- per metric tonne of the actual production of the manufacturer. Whether the capacity of three metric tonnes in the said sub-rule is the capacity of the factory per day or per month or per annum is not very clear from the language of the Rule. The expression does not appear to be defined under the Rules. Coming to Rule 96ZP(3), it also provides an option to the assessee falling under the Rule to pay the duty at the concessional rate of Rs.300 per metric tonne contrary to the liability of the assessees who do not opt to avail the procedure under sub-rule (3) to pay Rs.400 per metric tonne. But both the classes of assessees are required to pay the total duty calculated on the ACP of the factory. While those who choose to pay the lower rate of tax under sub-rule (3) pay the tax every month and those who do not opt to avail the scheme under sub-rule (3) are required to pay tax long after duty actually falls due as indicated under sub-rule (1) and (2).The only similarity between Rules 96ZO(3) and 96ZP(3) is that both the Rules seek to eliminate the benefit of the procedure under Section 3A(4) of THE ACT in cases of those assessees who choose to opt for levy and collection of excise duty in accordance with the sub-rules (3) which are exceptions to the general Rules of levy and collection of duties provided under Rules 96ZO and 96ZP.Therefore, we find it difficult to accept the submission of the respondent that the issue is covered by the judgments of this Court in Venus Castings and Supreme Steels. In our opinion, for the reasons mentioned above, these two judgments require a further examination. Apart from that, these judgments did not deal with vires of Rule 96ZP(3). However, in view of the fact that Supreme Steels is a decision rendered by a Bench of three learned Judges, we deem it appropriate that the question of law be settled by a Bench of an appropriate strength. We, therefore, direct the Registry to place the matter before Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India for further orders.

Reportable IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7823 OF 2014 M/s. Bhuwalka Steel Industries Ltd. & Another … Appellants Versus Union of India & Others … Respondents WITH CIVIL APPEAL NO.7825 OF 2014 CIVIL APPEAL NO.7824 OF 2014 J U D G M E N T Chelameswar, J. 1.… Read More Sub-rule (3) prescribes levy and collection of a lump sum of Rs.5 lakhs per month in cases of those manufacturers who have a total furnace capacity of three metric tonnes installed in their factories. However, such a scheme is available at the option of the assessee. In other words, a manufacturer has a choice to make a lump sum payment of Rs.5 lakhs, irrespective of his actual production for that month, in two instalments instead of paying the duty at the rate of Rs.750/- per metric tonne of the actual production of the manufacturer. Whether the capacity of three metric tonnes in the said sub-rule is the capacity of the factory per day or per month or per annum is not very clear from the language of the Rule. The expression does not appear to be defined under the Rules. Coming to Rule 96ZP(3), it also provides an option to the assessee falling under the Rule to pay the duty at the concessional rate of Rs.300 per metric tonne contrary to the liability of the assessees who do not opt to avail the procedure under sub-rule (3) to pay Rs.400 per metric tonne. But both the classes of assessees are required to pay the total duty calculated on the ACP of the factory. While those who choose to pay the lower rate of tax under sub-rule (3) pay the tax every month and those who do not opt to avail the scheme under sub-rule (3) are required to pay tax long after duty actually falls due as indicated under sub-rule (1) and (2).The only similarity between Rules 96ZO(3) and 96ZP(3) is that both the Rules seek to eliminate the benefit of the procedure under Section 3A(4) of THE ACT in cases of those assessees who choose to opt for levy and collection of excise duty in accordance with the sub-rules (3) which are exceptions to the general Rules of levy and collection of duties provided under Rules 96ZO and 96ZP.Therefore, we find it difficult to accept the submission of the respondent that the issue is covered by the judgments of this Court in Venus Castings and Supreme Steels. In our opinion, for the reasons mentioned above, these two judgments require a further examination. Apart from that, these judgments did not deal with vires of Rule 96ZP(3). However, in view of the fact that Supreme Steels is a decision rendered by a Bench of three learned Judges, we deem it appropriate that the question of law be settled by a Bench of an appropriate strength. We, therefore, direct the Registry to place the matter before Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India for further orders.