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Procedure of Appellate Tribunal.

(1) The powers and functions of the Appellate Tribunal may be exercised and discharged by Benches constituted by the President from amongst the members thereof.

(2) Subject to the provisions contained in 1[sub-section (4)], a Bench shall consist of one judicial member and one technical member.

2[(3) * * * * *]

(4) The President or any other member of the Appellate Tribunal authorised in this behalf by the President may, sitting singly, dispose of any case which has been allotted to the Bench of which he is a member where -

(a)      the value of the goods confiscated without option having been given to the owner of the goods to pay a fine in lieu of confiscation under section 125; or

(b)      in any disputed case, other than a case where the determination of any question having a relation to the rate of duty of customs or to the value of goods for purposes of assessment is in issue or is one of the points in issue, the difference in duty involved or the duty involved; or

(c)      the amount of fine or penalty involved,

does not exceed 3[fifty lakh rupees].

4[(5) If the members of a Bench differ in opinion on any point, the point shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority, if there is a majority; but if the members are equally divided, they shall state the point or points on which they differ and make a reference to the President who shall either hear the point or points himself or refer the case for hearing on such point or points by one or more of the other members of the Appellate Tribunal and such point or points shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority of these members of the Appellate Tribunal who have heard the case, including those who first heard it.]

(6) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Appellate Tribunal shall have power to regulate its own procedure and the procedure of the Benches thereof in all matters arising out of the exercise of its powers or of the discharge of its functions, including the places at which the Benches shall hold their sittings.

(7) The Appellate Tribunal shall, for the purposes of discharging its functions, have the same powers as are vested in a court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), when trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely :-

(a) discovery and inspection;

(b) enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;

(c) compelling the production of books of account and other documents; and

(d) issuing commissions.

(8) Any proceeding before the Appellate Tribunal shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 and for the purpose of section 196 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), and the Appellate Tribunal shall be deemed to be a Civil Court for all the purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).

Note:

1. Substituted by Act 22 of 1995, section 65(a), for sub-section (3) and (4) (w.e.f. 26.05.1995).

2. Sub-section (3) omitted by Act 22 of 1995, section 65 (b) (w.e.f. 26.05.1995). Earlier sub-section (3) was amended by Act 80 of 1985, section 10(a) (w.e.f. 27.12.1985).

3. Substituted by Act 17 of 2013, section 77, for “ten lakh rupees” (w.e.f. 10.05.2013). Earlier the words “ten lakh rupees” were substituted by Act 33 of 1996, section 66, for the words “one lakh rupees” (w.e.f. 28.09.1996); the words “one lakh ruppes” were substituted by Act 38 of 1993, section 43(2), for the words “fifty thousand rupees” (w.e.f. 13.05.1953); the words “fifty thousand rupees” were substituted by Act 21 of 1984, section 41, for the words “ten thousand rupees” (w.e.f. 11.05.1984).

4. Substituted by Act 12 of 1990, section 62(a), for sub-section (5) (w.e.f. 31.05.1990). Earlier sub-section (5) was amended by Act 80 of 1985, section 10(b) (w.e.f. 27.12.1985).