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Anti-dumping – DA to supply relied upon information & follow timelines

Delhi High Court has quashed the final findings of the Designated Authority (DA) recommending imposition of definitive anti-dumping duty on USB Pen drives imported from China, Taiwan and Korea RP. It was held that the DA had not provided the information or material considered by him, to the other party (petitioner), and has hence violated the principles of natural justice which is fatal to the final findings rendered.

The High Court noted that the DA had relied upon the transactions-wise imports data as new evidence at the fag-end of the investigation (after 17 months of initiation of investigation) without supplying a copy thereof to the petitioner (exporter) and hence without providing a reasonable time to the parties to review and comment upon the new evidence. According to the Court, the DA had not only refused to supply the non confidential summary of the sourced data but had also not disclosed the non injurious price of the subject goods as determined by him. It was held that for an effective hearing, the DA is required to make available the evidence presented to it by one party to other interested parties, participating in the investigation and also the evidence or the material sourced by the DA from other sources to all the parties.

On the question of remanding the matter to the DA for post-decisional hearing, the High Court was of the view that since the statutory period for investigation was over the matter could not be remanded to the DA for fresh consideration. It was in this regard noted that timelines provided under various provisions of the anti-dumping law have to be strictly followed and the investigation and the review as the case may be have to be completed within the respective statutory periods. The Court was of the view that in case the investigations are not completed within the respective statutory periods the proceedings would be vitiated.

The Court in its judgment dated 18-3-2015 also held that under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, it is empowered to entertain a petition challenging the final findings even before its acceptance by the Central Government.

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