Metal Scrap Trade Corporation Limited Recruitment for 34 MT, Manager Posts
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These four appeals, two by the writ petitioner Ramniwas Chaudhary and the remaining two by the Metal Scraps Trade Corporation, hereinafter referred to as MSTC have been preferred against the judgment and order dated July 17, of a learned single Judge of this Court disposing of the writ petitions filed by the appellant, Ramniwas Chaudhary.
Shorn of all details, it may be stated that Scindia Steam Navigation Company Limited, hereinafter referred to as the Company, advertised for the sale of two old ships named M.
Jalagirija for the purpose of plying. As there was no response for the purchase of the vessels for plying, the appellant, Ramniwas Chaudhary, a ship breaker, offered to purchase the same for breaking up and converting the same into scraps at a price of Rs.
The company by two letters both dated March 15,asked for the approval of the Director-General of Shipping for the sale of the said two vessels for the metal scrap trading corporation limited of scrapping as required under Section 42 1 of the Merchant Shipping Act,as both the vessels had lost their sea-worthiness. The Assistant Director-General of Shipping by two separate letters dated April 10, replied to the company in identical terms.
One of such letters metal scrap trading corporation limited set out below:. Permission for sale of M. Dear Sirs, I am to refer to your letter No. Act, will be issued on hearing from you the name of the buyer and sale price. You may as usual approach the MSTC for getting their clearance metal scrap trading corporation limited acting on the sanction. Director General of Shipping for Dy. Director General of Shipping. Apart from the four conditions mentioned in the letter, the company was asked to approach the MSTC for getting the clearance before acting on the sanction.
The Company accepted the said offer of the appellant on condition that the appellant was to obtain 'no objection certificates' from MSTC. The appellant tried to get 'no objection certificates' from the MSTC, but the latter did not grant any such certificates.
Although in the letter dt. April 10,the obtaining of 'no objection certificates' from the MSTC was not one of the conditions to be fulfilled by the company for the grant of sanction of the Central Government, yet the company and the appellant were under the belief that unless such certificates were granted by the MSTC, the Central Government would not grant approval to the transfer of the said vessels by the company to the appellant for scrapping purpose.
Accordingly, the appellant filed two writ applications in respect of the said two vessels M. He also filed two writ applications, inter alia, praying for restraining the MSTC from issuing 'no objection certificates' to the company for the sale of the two ships to the appellant.
Two other writ applications were also filed before the learned Judge by one P. Tikmany, making similar prayers. At the hearing of these appeals, the learned Counsel appearing on behalf of P. Tikmany withdrew its offer to purchase the ships and also the writ applications which were dismissed as withdrawn by our order dt. It is not in dispute that M.
Jalagirija which are foreign vessels were manufactured in They were purchased by the company in with the permission of the Reserve Bank of India. They were brought to India also in The first port of call in India was Madras in the case of M.
Jaltaranga and Bombay in the case of M. Thereafter, they were registered under the Merchant Shipping Act as Indian flag ships. Appendix 5 to the Import and Export Policy, contains the list of items, import of which is canalised through public sector agencies including MSTC.
MSTC is the canalising agency in respect of items 42 to 47 of Appendix 5. Item 47 is as follows:. Para under Chapter VI of the Handbook of Import Export Procedures, lays down the procedure that will apply to the import and distribution of specified items in Appendix 5, Part-A.
One of the items as specified is old ships, vessels etc. Pursuant to the Import and Export Policy, general guidelines have been issued by the MSTC regarding the import and distribution of old ships, vessels etc. Admittedly, the company did not conform to the guidelines of MSTC and, accordingly, Metal scrap trading corporation limited also refused to issue 'no objection certificates' to the company or to the appellant.
At the hearing of the writ applications, it was contended on behalf of the appellant that as the vessels were imported into India and registered at the instance of the company in when MSTC was not canalising agency, the guidelines laid down by MSTC were not applicable to the company or to the appellant in respect of the two vessels in question.
The learned Judge has metal scrap trading corporation limited the contention and held that MSTC was not the canalising agent in respect of the two vessels which were imported into India in and, as such the Central Government cannot insist on 'no objection certificates' from MSTC as a condition for the sanction of the transfer of the vessels. Although, the learned Judge held as above, yet the learned Judge took the view that there metal scrap trading corporation limited no proper advertisement for sale of the two vessels for the purpose of scrapping and, so, it would be just and proper that appropriate directions should be given to the company so that all interested ship breakers would get an opportunity to participate in the tender and a fair price could be obtained by the company.
Accordingly, the learned Judge directed the company to issue fresh advertisements giving details of the ships as per model tender form mentioned in the guidelines of MSTC, and that such advertisements should be issued once in Calcutta, once in Madras and once in Bombay. Metal scrap trading corporation limited company was directed not to accept any offer below Rs. Further, the learned Judge directed the Director Metal scrap trading corporation limited of Shipping that before granting permission under Section 42 1 of the Merchant Metal scrap trading corporation limited Act, he should consider whether the price obtained by the company for the two vessels was fair and reasonable.
The writ applications were disposed of accordingly. It has been already stated that four appeals have been preferred against the judgment of the learned Judge two by the appellant and the other two by the MSTC. While the appeals filed by the appellant are directed against the above directions given by the learned Judge, those filed by MSTC are directed against the finding of the learned Judge that at the time the ships were imported into India, MSTC was not canalising agency and, as such, the Central Government cannot insist on the production of 'no objection certificates' by the company from MSTC.
The first question that requires consideration is whether the vessels were imported in In this connection, our attention has been drawn to the exemption notification No. October 11, issued by the Central Government.
The notification reads as follows:. Provided that any such vessel subsequently broken up shall be chargeable with the duty which would be payable on her if she were imported to be broken up. Under the Import and Export Policy of the Government of Metal scrap trading corporation limited imports of certain items of goods have been canalised. Para 66 of Chapter 10 of the Import and Export Policy, provides as follows:.
The items canalised for import through designated public sector agencies are listed in Appendix 5. The concerned agency will import them under Open General Licence. It shall be open to the canalising agency concerned to sell the goods before their importation into India. In such cases, the clearance of imported. There is no dispute that MSTC is not a canalising agent relating to ocean going vessels imported into India not for breaking.
Further, as the vessels in question were not imported for the purpose of breaking, there could be no question of importation of the vessels through the canalising agency. It is, accordingly," contended by Mr.
Somnath Chatterjee, learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant, Ram Nivas Chaudhary, that as MSTC was riot arid could not be the canalising agent for the two ocean going vessels which were imported not for the purpose of breaking but for plying, the Central Government was not justified in referring the company to MSTC for obtaining 'no objection certificates' to be issued by MSTC as a condition for the grant of sanction under Section 42 1 of the Merchant Metal scrap trading corporation limited Act.
Counsel submits that the guidelines framed by MSTC are also inapplicable to the company, and the learned Judge acted in excess of his jurisdiction in giving the aforesaid directions which are in conformity with the guidelines of MSTC. Moreover, Counsel submits, the learned Judge having himself noticed that the company is not an authority within the meaning of Article metal scrap trading corporation limited of the Constitution, should not have given such directions to the company.
On the other hand, it is urged by Dr. Pal, learned Counsel appearing on behalf of MSTC that in terms of the said exemption notification set out above, when a metal scrap trading corporation limited ocean going vessel metal scrap trading corporation limited to an Indian port, there is no importation of such vessel as it does not cross the customs barrier, although it may become Indian property and an Indian Flag vessel.
The importation would' take place -only after the vessel loses its sea worthiness and is broken up and Converted into scraps, for, in that case, the scraps would be taken out of live customs barrier and get mixed up with other Indian goods.
So it is submitted on behalf of MSTC that the fact that it was not a canalising agency in is immaterial as metal scrap trading corporation limited, was no import of metal scrap trading corporation limited vessels concerned. Now the question of importation has arisen as the vessels are going to be sold for breaking up, and such sale has to be made through MSTC in accordance with its guidelines. It is the contention of MSTC that the sale of the vessels for breaking up should be deemed to be importation, otherwise the Central Government would lose a considerable amount of duty.
The contention is absurd on the face of the definition of the word 'import' as given in cl. In view of the definition of the word ''impart' read with the definition of the word 'India', there cannot be any doubt whatsoever that the two ships were imported into India in when MSTC was not the canalising agent, Apart from the said definitions, the exemption, notification dt.
October 11, also does not support the contention made on behalf of MSTC. It is apparent from the said notification which has been set out above that a distinction has been made between an ocean going vessel imported for breaking up and an ocean going vessel imported other than for breaking up.
In this connection, we may refer to metal scrap trading corporation limited decision of a Division Bench of this Court in Union of India v. Ramniwas Chaudhary - I Cal. In that case, it has been held that the date of importation of a vessel is very much relevant for the purpose of collection of the customs duty.
If a vessel is subsequently broken up the exemption from duty is lost and the duty will be payable on the vessel at the rate in force on the date of importation of the vessel. Moreover, it is curious that metal scrap trading corporation limited ship or a vessel will be treated as an Indian flag ship or vessel, but it cannot be said that it has been imported into India.
We have no hesitation in rejecting the contention of MSTC that unless a ship is broken up and converted into scrap and taken out of the customs barrier, there is no importation of the ship.
The decision of the Madras High Court in K. Collector of Customs, Madras- E. In that case, the question related to imposition of terminal tax as was in the case of the Supreme Court in Express Mills v. Collector of Sales Tax also do not help metal scrap trading corporation limited contention of MSTC inasmuch as the Supreme Court in both the cases was concerned with the question of interpretation of the words'in the course of the import of the goods' or 'in the course of the export of the goods' occurring in Article 1 of the Constitution.
Sylvania and Laxman Ltd. Collector of Customs, Madras E. In our opinion, when the Custom's Act has defined the term 'import', Court should not try to ascribe to the said word a different meaning particularly, when such meaning is absurd on the face of it in respect of certain goods like ships or vessels.
So, we have no hesitation in holding that when a foreign ship or vessel is acquired and brought into territorial waters of India, such ship or vessel must be said to have been imported into India.
It is next contended by Dr. Pal for MSTC that even assuming that the two ships were imported inyet in view of para under Chapter VI of the Handbook of Import Export Procedureslaying down the procedure regarding import and distribution will apply. The procedure that has metal scrap trading corporation limited laid down under para in respect of item 16 thereof relating to old ships, vessels, etc.
On the assumption that the two ships were imported, it is submitted that as no distribution had taken place after the importation of the two ships inpara was not applicable. But when the question of distribution has arisen it will have to be made in accordance with the said procedure.
We are unable to accept this contention. In the instant case, the two ships in question were not imported for the purpose of breaking up, nor were they imported through the canalising agency of MSTC. Accordingly, para will have no manner of application.
In other words, neither the Central Government nor MSTC can compel the company or the appellant to comply with the guidelines prescribed by MSTC in regard to the disposal of the two ships for being scrapped. The learned Judge, in our opinion, was perfectly justified metal scrap trading corporation limited holding that MSTC was not the canalising agency of the Government in regard to the two ships in question which were imported in and, as such, the Central Government cannot insist on the production of'no objection certific'Ues' from MSTC for the purpose of grant of approval under Section 42 1 of the Merchant Shipping Act.
We are now to consider whether and how far the learned Judge was justified in directing the publication of advertisements in certain Newspapers inviting offers for the sale of the said two ships for the purpose of scrapping.