Customs Call DRI’s Clean Chit to Adani Firms Illegal: Report

The clean chit is “erroneous, illegal and improper not only in law but also on facts,” the custom officials said.

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Business
2 min read
Gautam Adani heads the Ahmedabad-based conglomerate Adani Group.
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The Customs department has filed an appeal against the clean chit given to two Adani Group firms by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in a power equipment overvaluation case of nearly Rs 4,000 crore, The Indian Express reported on 12 February, Monday.

The report quoted Custom officials saying that the clean chit is “erroneous, illegal and improper not only in law but also on facts.”

On 22 August 2017, the DRI’s adjudicating authority, KVS Singh, scrapped all charges filed by the agency against Adani Power Maharashtra Ltd (APML) and Adani Power Rajasthan Ltd (APRL) .

The newspaper further added that in an appeal filed at the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) in Mumbai on 28 November, the department had claimed that the adjudication order “suffers from several contradictions which indicate either total non-application of mind or recklesness in passing of the order.”

The case was opened by the Mumbai branch of the DRI in 2014 against the Adani Group for over-valuing equipment order. The size of the alleged scam, in 2014, was approximated to be about Rs 4,000 crore.

A DRI report, made public by The Guardian, claimed that over-valuing of equipment by a subsidiary of Adani group may have resulted in Rs 1,500 crore being siphoned off to a tax haven in Mauritius.

In Another Setback for Adani, Jharkhand SEZ Proposal Scrapped

The commerce ministry has rejected Adani Power's proposal to set up a special economic zone for the power sector in Jharkhand involving an investment of Rs 15,002 crore as it was inconsistent with the sectoral guidelines, an official told news agency PTI.

The decision was taken by the Board of Approval, the highest decision making body on special economic zone (SEZ) related matters, in its meeting on 5 February.

The board noted that the proposal was inconsistent with the power guidelines dated 16 February 2016 and also that there was no recommendation from the state government and after deliberation, (the board) decided not to approve the proposal.
Commerce Ministry official to PTI

The developer of the zone – Adani Power (Jharkhand) – had sought an approval for setting up a sector-specific SEZ at Godda district in Jharkhand over an area of 425 hectares.

(With inputs from PTI)

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