Adani: The Supreme Court dismisses the government's argument on claimed excessive import prices
In a case involving the alleged overvaluation of imported commodities, the customs department appealed decisions against Adani Power Maharashtra Limited (APML), Adani Power Rajasthan Limited (APRL), and others, but the Supreme Court rejected it.
"We have heard extensively from Mukul Rohatgi, a senior attorney, who is representing the respondents, and Balbir Singh, the additional solicitor general who is representing the appellant(s). We believe that the issues are resolved by the factual findings made by the authorities below, and that the contested order(s) do not call for our intervention. Thus, the appeals are denied "Justices Krishna Murari and Sanjay Karol were on the bench that made the decision.
After hearing the thorough arguments of the attorneys for the customs agency and the Adani businesses, the bench on Monday issued the decision.
A lawyer involved in the case claims that the court determined that APML and APRL's project costs were either comparable to or less expensive than those of their rivals.
He claimed that the cost was less than the benchmark per-megawatt cost set by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and that the EPC contract was given to the lowest bidder via an international bidding procedure known as International Competitive Bidding (ICB).
The highest court affirmed that there was no overvaluation in the import of capital goods and supported the conclusions of both the adjudicating authority and the appeal tribunal.
The Adani businesses imported the supplies needed to establish thermal power plants in Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
Also, after the ICB, a consortium headed by PMC Projects (India) Private Limited was given the contract and imported supplies to build transmission lines and a sub-station package for Maharashtra Eastern Grid Electricity Transmission Company Ltd. (MEGPTCL).
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), citing overvaluation in the import of capital goods, issued show-cause notifications to the companies and others in May 2014.
In 2017, the DRI's adjudicating authority, which had previously issued the show-cause letters, stated that all of the imports were real and that the value disclosed was accurate and did not need to be revised. The notifications were later withdrawn.
The customs department's argument was rejected by the appeal tribunal in 2022, and it was established that there had not been an overvaluation when the equipment was imported by the Adani companies.