08 April 2019

DGAD findings can only be interfered with if there is procedural illegality

8th April

Delhi High Court has refused to interfere, under Article 226 of the Constitution, with DGAD final findings recommending non-imposition of Anti-dumping duty on AA Dry Cell Batteries imported into India from China and Vietnam. The Designated Authority had recorded a positive disclosure statement and contradictory to it, rendered negative final findings.

The court was further of the view that when it is not open to the Central Government to question the final findings recorded by the designated authority – on account of a negative recommendation to it by the statutorily designated expert body, the standard of review, under Article 226 has to be of a different order.

Court in Eveready Industries v. UoI noted that the DA had considered all the facts relevant for it to decide whether there was incidence of dumping of the subject goods. It noticed that prices of the domestic industry were comparable with the retail prices of Chinese batteries.

The court noted that the petitioner had not brought anything to counter the findings of the DA that despite existence of dumping, there was no injurious effect. The DA had found that the share of domestic production had not significantly matched, though the capacity existed.

It also noted that Section 9B(1)(b)(ii) of the Customs Tariff Act prevents the Central Government from levying anti-dumping duty on any article imported into India from a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) or from a most favoured nation, unless a determination has been made that import of such article causes or threatens material injury to any established industry in India.

The court was of the view that it cannot act as an economic analyst to see if the DGAD had adopted correct approach and that it could only interfere if there is any procedural irregularity.

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