Published On : Wed, Oct 8th, 2014

HC asks Audi, Mercedez dealers to pay Rs 2cr to NMC as Octroi dues with penalty

Nagpur: The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court has asked the dealers of Audi Cars and Mercedez Benz on Tuesday to pay Nagpur Municipal Corporation the defaulted octroi duty along with ten times penalty. The amount to be recovered from both dealers stand well over Rs 2 crores. While Rs 1.5 crores is to be taken from M/s Adaya Motor Cars Pvt. Ltd. (Audi dealer), another Rs 55 lakh will be recovered from Mercedez Benz dealer M/s Auto Hangar. Both the dealers had moved the High Court against the NMC’s move to recover the ten times of the routine dues. The court has rejected the plea, paving way for NMC to initiate action for recovering the dues.

The court on Tuesday dismissed the Writ Petition 5223 of 2013 filed by M/s Adaya Motor Cars Private Limited (Audi Mumbai-West); against the recovery action initiated by NMC. A bill for payment of ten times octroi duty amounting to Rs. 1,55,36,115/- for non compliance of octroi formalities against 20 high value vehicles; was served on the company by Nagpur Municipal Corporation on April 21, 2012. The bill so issued was after duly considering the facts and circumstances in the case and granting sufficient opportunity of submissions to the company and passing an 18 page self explanatory order in the case by Municipal Commissioner. The company failed to honour the bill and hence department started recovery proceeding through Small Cause Court since the company is situated at Mumbai outside the city limits; as prescribed under the MMC Act.

The company approached the High Court and preferred a W.P. and deposited the bill amount with the Court. After due hearing and lengthy arguments in the instant case, the orders dismissing the petition filed by the company were solicited in the same on October 7, 2014. Senior Advocate, C.S. Kaptan represented NMC in the instant case.

In another appeal filed by M/s Auto Hangar  Mercedes Benz through Sunil  D’souza which was returnable on October 7, 2014, after granting interim relief without giving hearing to the NMC.  The matter was heard on Tuesday on the application for dismissal of appeal itself as mandatory provisions for depositing the amount which was not fulfilled by appellant.

The appellant failed to stand to his statement to the court to deposit the sum of Rs 55,99,250/- made when the interim order was passed. The appellant neither deposited the said amount nor make submission for extension of interim relief.

Initially, Adwait Manohar had filed his power on behalf of appellant, however, after going through the proceeding very fairly submitted a statement before the court that he was not given true and proper instructions of the matter nor was aware regarding the statement of deposit to be made.  He filed application and sought to discharge from the case which was accepted by the court.

The matter came to be heard on maintainability of the appeal and fixed the matter for passing order on 16/10/2014 without extension of interim relief. The NMC is now entitled to undertake the process of attachment for the recovery of demand note.

On behalf of NMC Adv A.M. Quazi, senior counsel of NMC & assisted by Adv Sanjay S. Nandanwar.