Madras High Court allows Shapoorji Pallonji to get its Solar Imports without Paying Safeguard Duty

The Madras High Court has reportedly allowed Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure to collect its delivery of panels from overseas released by customs officials without paying the safeguard duty.

According to ET the company has been asked to execute a bond for the amount due and will have to pay the duty if the notification imposing the levy is upheld.

The report states Shapoorji Pallonji moved to the court seeking to quash the demand by customs for payment of safeguard duty on its consignment. The company said the notification was “illegal and arbitrary” since there was an interim order of the Odisha high court restraining the passing of any notification on the matter.

High court said in an order “The petitioner has made out a prima facie case for the grant of an interim order for release of the goods without paying the safeguard duty.” “We direct the third respondent (Deputy Commissioner of Customs, Chennai) to assess provisionally the safeguard duty payable by the petitioner… and release the goods without insisting on payment of safeguard duty on executing a bond by an authorised officer of the company.”

The high court made it clear in its order dated August 10 that Shapoorji Pallonji would have to pay the duty if the Odisha high court upheld the notification.

The court said “In the event of upholding the notification, the petitioner is liable to pay the safeguard duty provisionally assessed by the authority,” the court said.

Shapoorji Pallonji Group is in discussions with investment banks and exploring opportunities to list its solar EPC business.

The Mumbai-based conglomerate is targeting a valuation between UD 3.5 billion and USD 4 billion for the business which generates 80% of its revenue from overseas said one of the three sources on the condition of anonymity to the publication.

Shapoorji’s solar EPC business is housed under Sterling and Wilson Pvt. Ltd.