New Delhi: Well known is the slow pace with which the legal system works and as another proof of this, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has found that more than 39,000 cases on excise duty worth over Rs23,567 crore were pending before courts at the end of 2005-06.
“A total of 39,082 cases involving duty of Rs23,568 crore were pending finalisation as on 31March, 2006 with different judicial authorities,” said a CAG report tabled in Parliament on 14 May.
In contrast, CAG said, there were 18,122 cases on excise duty worth Rs11,042 crore awaiting conclusion as on 31March. Of the total, 6,114 cases involving Rs2,920 crore were pending for more than five years while 36,762 cases (Rs24,140 crore) were filed within five years, the report said.
CAG found that excise adjudicating officials had the highest number of cases before them. As on 31 March, 2006, officials had around 11,529 pending cases. In this, 561 cases were more than five-year old and the rest 10,968 cases were registered in less than five years.
The report also noted that Supreme Court had only 194 pending cases as on 31 March, 2006. In this the Apex court had 62 cases (Rs18.77 crore), which were five-years old. In various High courts, 1,282 cases were pending and the total duty involved was Rs631 crore, compared to 1,519 cases on duty worth Rs2241 crore in the preceding year.
Excise tribunals had around 8,284 cases (Rs8,404 crore). The report further said duty worth about Rs23,500 crore was pending for coercive recovery measures in 39,082 cases on the last day of 2005-06, against about Rs27,060 crore in 42,876 cases at on 31 March, 2005.