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Article 226 of constitution is not meant to short-circuit or circumvent statutory procedure

Assistant Collector of Central Excise, Chandan Nagar,
West Bengal v. Dunlop India Ltd.

AIR 1985 SC 330: 1985 ECR 4: (1985) 1 SCC 260
JUDGES: O. Chinnappa Reddy, A.P. Sen and E.S. Venkataramiah, JJ.
Date of Decision: 30-11-1984

The respondent, Dunlop India Limited was a manufacturer of tyres, tubes and various other rubber products. By a notification dated April 6, 1984 issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) in exercise of the powers conferred by rule 8(1) of the Central Excise Rules, 1944 tyres falling under item No. 16 of the First Schedule to the Central Excise and Salt Act, 1944 were exempt from a certain percentage of excise duty to the extent that the manufacturers had not availed themselves of the exemption granted under certain other earlier notifications. The Department was of view that the company was not entitled to the exemption as it had cleared the goods either without paying Central Excise Duty but furnishing bank guarantees under various interim orders of courts. The company claimed the benefit of the exemption to the tune of Rs. 6.05 crores and filed a writ petition in Calcutta High Court and sought any interim order restraining the Central Excise Authorities from the levy and collection of excise duty.

Private or public wrongs for preventing public injury forming the part of article 226 of Constitution of India if attracts statutory procedure.

The balance of convenience must be clearly in favour of the making of an interim order and there should not be the slightest indication of a likelihood of prejudice to the public interest. It is only where statutory remedies are entirely ill suited to meet the demands of extraordinary situations as for instance where the very vires of the statute is in question or where private or public wrongs are so inextricably mixed up and the prevention of public injury and the vindication of public justice require it that recourse may be hard to article 226 of the Constitution.

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