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Questioning Telangana HC Order, SC Stays Contempt Action Against Designated Authority in Anti-Dumping Probe

The Supreme Court criticised the manner in which high court had been dealing with the matter since 2018.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:September 13, 2019, 3:31 PM IST
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New Delhi: Questioning the manner in which notices were drawn out suo motu, the Supreme Court on Friday stayed contempt proceedings initiated by the Telangana High Court against the designated authority in the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and MR Shah stayed all orders of the high court relating to anti-dumping investigation, issued on petitions moved by M/s Andhra Petrochemicals.

"We will stay everything. We will hear everything together and you (Andhra Petrochemicals) could be at the receiving end. We can't let this go on," said Justice Mishra.

The court criticised the manner in which the high court had been dealing with this matter since 2018, and decided to haul up the designated authority in the case relating to anti-dumping investigation.

"If a party starts deciding who will hear the matter, that will be the end of the day. We see impropriety in this order," commented the bench as Attorney General KK Venugopal appeared for the authorities.

Justice Mishra added: "What kind of orders are passed? There is something seriously wrong with the system. We know the system isn't working right."

Andhra Petrochemicals, which was on caveat in this case, sought to intervene in the matter when the bench indicated that it will not only stay the orders passed in August this year but also the previous ones issued in July 2019 and July 2018.

"We will now decide everything here. We are not happy with your conduct too," said the bench.

The case is related to investigation concerning imports of Isononanol (INA) originating in or exported from European Union and Singapore, 2-Propylheptyl Alcohol (2-PH) originating in or exported from European Union and 2-Ethyl Hexanol (2-EH) originating in or exported from Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

A petition filed by Andhra Petrochemicals had contended in the high court that the letters issued by the designated authority in the remand proceedings in the anti-dumping investigation were untenable in view of an earlier order of the court.

The plea sought to get these letters declared as arbitrary, illegal and contrary to the provisions of Customs Tariff Identification Assessment and Collection of Anti-dumping duty on Dumped Article and for Determination of Injury Rules 1995.

According to the petitioners, contrary to the directions issued by the court, the authorities had not been initiating an inquiry into anti-dumping activities, with the chemicals mentioned by the petitioners.

The high court took strong objections to the language employed in the notification. It said that the designated authority sought to enhance the scope of the inquiry and on the said pretext, failed to deal with the anti-dumping allegations for the specified period.

The Supreme Court has fixed the matter for a detailed hearing on October 1.

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