If there is any supervening public interest which requires that the benefit be withdrawn or the scheme be modified, that supervening public interest would prevail over any promissory estoppel.
Central Excise--Notification No. 16/2008 dated 27.03.2008 — Promissory Estoppel – The appellant UOI challenged the common judgment dated 10.3.2010 passed by the High Court of Gujarat holding the policy of withdrawal of the benefit/incentive to the original writ petitioners is retrospective and not retroactive and quashing the Notification No. 16/2008 dated 27-3-2008, on the ground that bar of promissory estoppel would operate. The Government issued Central Excise Exemption Notification No. 39/2001-CE dated 31-7-2001 granting exemption to goods cleared from a New Industrial Unit set-up in the Kutch District of Gujarat prior to 31.07.2003 (which was subsequently extended to 31.12.2005). The said Incentive Notification No. 39/2001-CE was amended by another Notification No. 16/2008-CE dated 27-3-2008 related to a virtual withdrawal of the incentive scheme. According to the petitioners, the inventive available to them stood reduced from the refund of the entire of the duty paid in cash/PLA to 34% of the total duty paid. The appellant submitted that the subsequent notification is as such in continuation of the earlier notification and the same is clarificatory and therefore can be made applicable retrospectively. The court observed that the respective notifications/industrial policies before the High Courts can be said to be clarificatory in nature and it can be defined as an Act to remove doubts and are issued in public interest and in the interest of the Revenue.
Held that:- The Hon’ble Supreme Court allowed these appeals and quashed impugned Judgments and Orders passed by the respective High Courts.