CESTAT Annual Case Digest 2023 [Part 1] Read More: https://www.taxscan.in/cestat-annual-case-digest-2023-part-1/359660/

Top Stories CESTAT Annual Case Digest 2023 [Part 1] By Aiswarya Krishnadas – On January 4, 2024 1:00 pm – 19 mins read This yearly digest analyzes all the CESTAT stories published in the year 2023 at taxscan.in CHA considered as Merely processing agent of documents for Clearance of goods and not inspector to weigh Genuineness of transaction: CESTAT Quashes Revocation of CB License Durga Link Logistics (Pvt.) Ltd vs Commissioner of Customs 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1536 The New Delhi bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) held that the Customs House Agent (CHA) was considered as merely the processing agent of documents for the clearance of goods and not the inspector to weigh the genuineness of the transaction. The bench was comprised of Rachna Gupta (Judicial) and Subba Rao (Technical )assessee as a customs broker was not liable to inspect the genuineness of the transaction.

The assessee appealed against the order passed by the adjudicating authority for confirming the revocation of the customs broker license, forfeiture of the security deposit, and imposition of a penalty of Rs.50,000/- The Bench observed that the goods were duly sealed by the exporter after obtaining self-sealing permission from the department. Hence, the assessee had no occasion to verify the quantity and weight of the goods sealed and the assessee had no means to verify the item-wise quantity or weight of the goods and, as, a customs broker, he was not required to do so. CENVAT credit of Excise Duty  Demand on iron and steel products used in Manufacture of Final products:

CESTAT Set Asides Demand due to Credit Eligibility M/s Corporate Ispat Alloys Limited vs Commissioner of Central Excise, Bolpur 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1542 A two member bench of the Kolkata bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) quashed the IT RUexcise duty demand on iron and steel products used in the manufacture of final products. The bench was comprised of Muralidhar (Judicial) and Anpazhakan (Technical) .In the assessee’s written submission, it was asserted that items such as Angles, Channels, Beams, Joists, Sheets, Plate, Coils, etc., employed in the construction of furnace equipment and furnace structure, as well as in the manufacturing of raw material handling systems and pollution control equipment, qualify for credit as ‘inputs’ used in the production of capital goods. The Bench noted that Angles, Channels, Beams, Joists, Sheets, Plates, Coils, etc., when utilized in the production of furnace equipment and furnace structure, raw material handling systems, and pollution control equipment, are eligible for credit as ‘inputs.’ Any steel item used for fabrication of capital goods or inputs is entitled for CENVAT credit of Excise Duty in terms of Rule 2(l) CCR: CESTAT M/s Corporate Ispat Alloys Limited vs Commissioner of Central Excise, Bolpur 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1542 A two member bench of the Kolkata Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT)comprising Muralidhar (Judicial) and Anpazhakan (Technical) held that any steel item that has been used for the fabrication of capital goods or inputs is entitled to CENVAT credit in terms of Rule 2(l)/2(k) of the CENVAT Credit Rules (CCR), 2004.In the written submission of the assessee, the assessee stated that the iron and steel products were used for furnace equipment and furnace structure, raw material handling system, and pollution control equipment and had availed CENVAT credit on the Angles, Channels, Beams, Joists, Sheets, Plate, Coils etc, as ‘inputs’ as the same were used in the manufacture of capital goods.

The counsel for the department relied on the decisions made by the lower authorities and contended that the assessee was not entitled to get the CENVAT credit.The Bench observed that in the case of Vandana Global Ltd. Vs. CCE, the court held that angles, Channels, Beams, Joists, Sheets, Plate, Coils, etc used for furnace equipment and furnace structure, raw material handling systems, pollution control equipment, are eligible for credit as ‘inputs, used in the manufacture of capital goods. CESTAT Quashes Denial of CENVAT credit of Excise Duty on Manufacture of HCFC on ground of CENVAT credit Eligibility M/s. Balasore Alloys Limited vs Commissioner of CGST & CX, Bhubaneswar-I Commissionerate 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1538 The Kolkata bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) comprising Muralidhar (Judicial) and Anpazhakan (Technical) quashed the denial of CENVAT credit of excise duty on the manufacture of High Carbon Ferro Chrome (HCFC) on the ground of CENVAT credit eligibility.

The two-member bench comprising Muralidhar (Judicial) and Anpazhakan (Technical) held that the demand confirmed in the impugned order was not sustainable and quashed while allowing the appeal filed by the assessee. The Bench observed that the CENVAT credit on capital goods would be admissible in the hands of the factory and the denial of CENVAT credit on input services and capital goods was not sustainable. Replica Fire Arms cannot Discharge a projectile and are not Falls under ‘firearms’ defined under Arms Act: CESTAT Quashes Confiscation of Goods Windlass Online Stores Pvt. Ltd vs Commissioner of Customs 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1541 A two-member bench of the New Delhi bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) comprising Binu Tamta (Judicial) and Subba Rao (Technical) quashed the confiscation of replica firearms on the grounds of non-falling goods under the category of firearms( defined under the Arms Act, 1959).Windlass Online Stores Pvt. Ltd, the appellant assessee filed a Bill of Entry for clearance of goods imported from an Overseas supplier – Denix S.A. C/Dels Bijuteers, Spain. The description, quantity, and value of the goods declared by the importer in the said Bill of Entry as per invoice.

The assessee appealed against the order passed by the adjudicating authority for confirming the customs duty demand and for the confiscation of goods under section 112(a) of the Customs Act,1962.The bench held that since the impugned order does not reflect any application of mind, it would be appropriate to remand the appeal to the Commissioner (Appeals) to discuss the issues on merit and quashed the confiscation of goods. No Prohibition or Restriction either under Customs Act or under FTP to import “Replica Fire Arms”: CESTAT Windlass Online Stores Pvt. Ltd vs Commissioner of Customs 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1541 The New Delhi bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) held that there is no prohibition or restriction, either under the Customs Act, 1962, or the Foreign Trade Policy, regarding the import of replica firearms. The two-member bench comprising Binu Tamta (Judicial) and Subba Rao (Technical) held that the assessee was not liable to pay the customs duty demand imposed against the assessee.Windlass Online Stores Pvt. Ltd., the appellant assessee, submitted a Bill of Entry for the clearance of goods imported from an overseas supplier, Denix S.A. C/Dels Bijuteers, Spain, specifying the description, quantity, and value of the goods as per the invoice.

The assessee challenged the order issued by the adjudicating authority, which confirmed the customs duty demand and ordered the confiscation of goods under section 112(a) of the Customs Act, 1962.The tribunal noted that the certificate/declaration from the supplier/manufacturer stated that the imported goods were classifiable under CTH 83062900, and therefore, there was no prohibition or restriction under the Customs Act or the Foreign Trade Policy for importing “Replica Firearms.” Mild Steel Items used for manufacturing of Capital goods within factory premises are eligible for CENVAT Credit of Excise Duty: CESTAT M/s. AmitMetaliks Limited vs Commr. of Central Excise 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1539 A two-member bench of the Kolkata bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) comprising Muralidhar (Judicial) and K Anpazhakan (Technical) held that all the mild steel (MS) items for manufacturing of capital goods within the factory premises are eligible for CENVAT Credit. The assessee appealed against the order passed by the adjudicating authority for confirming the CENVAT Credit demand taken on Capital goods and inputs used for Capital goods.

The bench held that the capital goods that are embedded are required for the manufacture of the finished goods, and CENVAT Credit cannot be denied. Customs Duty Demand on Import of Antique Finished Rifles without verifying FSL Report: CESTAT Quashes Demand Windlass Online Stores Pvt. Ltd vs Commissioner of Customs 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1541 The New Delhi bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) quashed the Customs duty demand on the import of antique finished rifles without verifying the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL). The two-member bench comprising Binu Tamta (Judicial) and Subba Rao (Technical) quashed the Customs duty demand against the assessee. The Bench observed that the antique finished rifles cannot discharge a projectile in their present condition and these are not firearms as defined in the Arms Act, 1959. Though, it was submitted that after modification the same could be used as firearms, in the present state, they are not firearms as defined in the Arms Act. CESTAT Quashes CENVAT credit of Excise duty demand taken on Capital goods on ground of Absence of Sufficient Evidence M/s. Amit Metaliks Limited vs Commr. of Central Excise 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1539

The Kolkata bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) quashed the CENVAT credit of excise duty demand which taken on the capital goods on the ground of absence of sufficient evidence. The two-member bench comprising Muralidhar (Judicial) and K Anpazhakan (Technical) quashed the CENVAT credit demand imposed against the assessee. The assessee appealed against the order passed by the adjudicating authority for confirming the CENVAT Credit demand taken on Capital goods and inputs used for Capital goods.The Bench observed that the assessee had filed their Monthly Returns properly declaring the CENVAT credit taken by them on various counts and interpretations, suppression clause cannot be invoked against the assessee. Therefore, the assessee could have the bonafide belief that they are eligible for CENVAT Credit. Refund claims filed on Account of Service Tax paid by Mistake, are not governed by time limit specified u/s 11B Central Excise Act: CESTAT M/s.Bansal Biscuits Private Limited vs Commr. of Central Excise & Service Tax, Patna 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1540 A two member bench of the Kolkata bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) comprising of Muralidhar (Judicial) and Anpazhakan (Technical) held that refund claims filed on account of Service Tax paid by mistake, are not governed by the time limit specified under Section 11B of the Central Excise Act,1944. The two-member bench comprising) held that Section 11B of the Central Excise Act is not applicable in this case. The assessee appealed against the order passed by the Adjudicating Authority for rejecting the refund claim under Section 11B of the Central Excise Act read with Section 83 of the Finance Act, 1994.

The bench pointed out that the refund claims filed on account of Service Tax paid by mistake, are not governed by the time limit specified under Section 11B of the Central Excise Act and in the present case the provisions of Section 11B of the Central Excise Act (time limit) would not be applicable. No Service Tax Leviable on Transportation of ‘Food Stuff’ towards GTA expenses: CESTAT M/s. Bansal Biscuits Private Limited vs Commr. of Central Excise & Service Tax, Patna 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1540 The Kolkata bench of the Customs, Excise, and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) held that when ‘foodstuff’ was transported, the same would be exempted from payment of Service Tax towards GTA expenses.The two-member bench consisted of Muralidhar (Judicial) and Anpazhakan (Technical).

The Bench observed that as per Notification No. 25/2012-ST dated 20/06/2012, when ‘foodstuff’ was transported, the same would be exempted from payment of Service Tax towards GTA expenses. The bench held that there was no necessity to go into the aspect as to whether the biscuits can qualify as foodstuff to be eligible for the exemption. Set Back to L.G. Electronics: CESTAT rejects Claim of Concessional Rate of Basic Customs Duty  on Import of G-Watch L.G. Electronics India Private Limited vs Principal Commissioner of Customs, New Delhi 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1544 A two-member bench of the Tribunal the New Delhi Bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), rejected the claim of concessional rate of basic customs duty on import of G-watch. The bench affirmed that the imported product is a Smart Watch, classifiable under 8517 6290 and the appellant had erroneously categorized it under 9102 1900. Consequently, the benefit under exemption Notification No.152/2009-Cus. was not applicable to products of the 8517 tariff entry.

The advantage under exemption Notification No. 152/2009-Cus. Is not applicable to products falling under the 8517 tariff entry; hence, it is determined that the claim for the same was incorrect. The claim of concessional rate of basic customs duty is rejected. However, the order imposing penalties and confiscating the goods is annulled. As a result, the current appeal is partially granted. Modification of Already existing Machinery if installed capacity gets increased by more than 25% are Eligible for Duty Exemption: CESTAT M/s.The Rishabh Velveleen Ltd vs Commissioner of Central Excise 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1543 The New Delhi bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) held that the modification of already existing machinery if installed capacity gets increased by more than 25% is eligible for excise duty exemption under exemption notification. The two-member bench comprising Rachna Gupta (Judicial) and Subba Rao (Technical) held that the benefit of clause 2(b) of Notification No. 50/2003 was wrongly denied to the assessee.

The Bench observed that the benefit of notification is available to the unit existing before 07.01.2003 if the increase in its installed capacity by 25% or more has been effected after 07.01.2003 and in the case of Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise Vs. Uttaranchal Iron & Ispat Ltd, the court held that the modification of already existing machinery if the installed capacity gets increased by more than 25%, the assessee shall be entitled to the benefits of Notification No.50/2003-CE dated 10.06.2003. CESTAT Quashes Denial of Excise Duty Exemption on Clearance of Flock Fabrics on ground of Genuineness of IIT Roorkee Report M/s. The Rishabh Velveleen Ltd vs Commissioner of Central Excise 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1543 The two-member bench of the New Delhi bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) comprising Rachna Gupta (Judicial) and Subba Rao (Technical) quashed the denial of excise duty exemption on clearance of flock fabric.IIT Roorkee had been assigned to study the matter and submit a report on it. The bench relied on the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee Report to reach its conclusions.

The Bench observed that the denial and the demand of duty were not as per the law the demand was presumptive and baseless and the IIT report had established that the installed capacity of the assessee’s unit was enhanced by more than 25% after 07.01.2003. Confiscation of Spare Parts of goods for non-compliance of post importconditions of Project Import Regulations: CESTAT quashes Penalty due toInsufficient Evidence M/s. Nortech Power Projects Private Limited vs Commissioner of Customs (Port), Kolkata 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1545 The two-member bench (Technical) Kolkata bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) comprising Ashok Jindal (Judicial) and Rajeev Tandon quashed the penalty imposed on confiscation of spare parts of goods for non-compliance of post import regulations on the ground of insufficient evidence. The assessee had appealed against the order passed by the Commissioner (Appeals) for confiscation of the goods for non-compliance with the post-import conditions of the Project Import Regulations and imposition of penalty on the assessee.

The Bench observed that claiming a refund of the legitimate amount due to them, was no favor being solicited from the department but seeking back what rightly belongs to the assessee. Activity of Mere packing of Rechargeable batteries along with Battery chargers does not amount to Manufacture: CESTAT Eveready Industries India Ltd. vs Commissioner of Central Excise 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1546 The Kolkata bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) granted relief to the Eveready Industry by quashing the excise duty demand on the clearance of primary batteries on the ground of absence of manufacturing under section 2(f) of the Central Excise Act,1944. The two-member bench comprised of Muralidhar (Judicial) and Anpazhakan (Technical). The Bench observed that the activity of mere packing and labeling undertaken by the assessee would not amount to “manufacture” in terms of Section 2(f) of the Central Excise Act. Accordingly, the demand confirmed in the impugned order was not sustainable. Since the demand was not sustainable, the question of demanding interest and imposing a penalty does not arise.

No re-enhancement of value possible once value of goods was enhanced and paid Customs duty thereon: CESTAT M/s. Premier Trading Company vs Commissioner of Customs (Port), Kolkata 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1547 The Kolkata bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) held that re- enhancement of value for assessment purposes, undertaken when the goods were already assessed and exercise for enhancement of declared value was already undertaken at the time of assessment was patently illegal and unjustified. The two-member bench comprised of Ashok Jindal (Judicial) and Rajeev Tandon (Technical) The bench observed that no re-enhancement of value was possible once the value of goods was enhanced and duty paid thereon and Reassessment was not possible once earlier assessment had become final, without undertaking any appeal or review. CESTAT upholds quashing of Confiscation of Silver ornaments and Silver Boondi on ground of absence of evidence of Smuggling Commissioner of Customs vs M/s Lalit Krishna Agrawal 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1548

The Kolkata bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) upheld the quashing of the confiscation of silver ornaments and silver boondi on the grounds of the absence of evidence of smuggling. The two-member bench comprised of Ashok Jindal (Judicial) and Rajeev Tandon (Technical). The Bench observed that the confiscation of goods and the penalty imposed against the use were not as per the law and there was no evidence proved by the revenue that the goods were smuggled in nature and the quashing of the confiscation of goods and penalty was as per the law and liable to be upheld. CESTAT Set Asides Rejection of declared unit value of imported Auto Parts on ground of absence of Undervaluation M/s. Premier Trading Company vs Commissioner of Customs (Port), Kolkata 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1547 The Kolkata bench of the Customs, Excise, and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) quashed the rejection of the declared unit value of imported auto parts on the ground of absence of undervaluation. The two-member bench comprising Ashok Jindal (Judicial) and Rajeev Tandon (Technical) held that transaction value had been rejected, arbitrarily, as the department was not able to adduce any sustainable evidence on the matter. Value assessment) of the Customs Valuation Rules 2007 applies exclusively to cases where the buyer and seller are related. The current adjudication order did not include such a determination.

Therefore, employing this methodology for the valuation of various imported items such as radiators, cylinder blocks, crankshafts, etc., was not legally authorized. Hiring of vehicles to APSRTC not liable for Sales Tax: CESTAT sets aside Demand-cum-SCN Theegala Naga Venkata Padmavati vs Commissioner of Central Tax 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1549 The Hyderabad bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) observed that the hiring of vehicles to the Andhra Pradesh State Road and Transport Corporation (APSRTC) is not liable for sales tax, and the tribunal set aside the Demand-Cum Show Cause Notice (SCN). The two member bench of the Tribunal comprised of Mr. Anil Choudhary, Member (Judicial) and A.K Jyothishi, Member (Technical). The issue to be decided was whether the hiring of vehicles/buses by appellants to the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) falls under the “Rent a Cab” service and is thus chargeable to service tax. The bench concluded that the appellant’s vehicle hiring is deemed a “Transfer of Right to Use,” not falling under “Rent a Cab Service.” Scrutiny of judgments, circulars, and agreements concludes APSRTC maintains control. Relief to Ramco Cement: No Denial of CENVAT credits of Service Tax paid on Outward Transportation of Finished Products from factory to dealers and buyers, rules CESTAT The Chennai Bench of Customs, Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), while granting relief to Ramco Cement, held that CENVAT credits of service tax paid on outward transportation of finished products from the factory to the place of dealers and buyers should not be denied.

The two-member bench comprised of Sulekha Beevi C.S, Member (Judicial), and Vasa Seshagiri Rao, Member (Technical). The department contends that a certain credit is not eligible, asserting that the activity of outward transportation from the place of removal does not fall within the definition of input service according to Rule 2(l) of CENVAT Credit Rules 2004. Following this, a show-cause notice was issued, proposing to disallow the credit for the period January 2007 to February 2008, along with interest and a penalty under Rule 15(3) of CENVAT Credit Rules 2004. The appellant, displeased with the department’s decision, appealed to the Commissioner (Appeals), who upheld the order. The appellant’s counsel argued that the definition of ‘input services’ was amended from “from the place of removal” to “up to the place of removal” effective from 1/4/2008, and the matter had already been addressed in the appellant’s previous case.

The department, affirmed the findings of the lower authorities.Therefore, it was held that the CENVAT credits of service tax paid on outward transportation of finished products from the factory to the place of dealers and buyers should not be denied. Coaching of Competitive Entrance Examination provide to students for  getting admission in  Engineering and Medical Colleges are exempted from “Commercial Training or Coaching Services”: CESTAT M/s. Shiv Chhatrapati Shikshan Sanstha VS Commissioner of CGST & Central Excise, Aurangabad 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1550 The Mumbai Bench of Customs, Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) ruled that coaching for competitive entrance examinations, provided to students seeking admission in engineering and medical Kumar Pati (Member – Judicial) and Anil G. Shakkarwar (Member-Technical).The appellant, asserting exemption under Sr. No. 9 of Notification No. 25/2012-ST, filed an appeal, contending that the adjudication order was based on earlier legislation and thus inapplicable to the present one.

The department claimed that the services provided by the appellant are taxable under “Commercial Training or Coaching Services” and “Renting of Immovable Property Service.” Demands for the period from April 2015 to June 2017 were made in a follow-up show-cause notice dated April 6, 2018, leading to a confirmation of duty, interest, and penalty under Section 78 of the Finance Act, 1994. No service tax leviable on coaching provided to students in respect of competitive entrance examination for getting admission in  Engineering and Medical Colleges: CESTAT  M/s. Shiv Chhatrapati Shikshan Sanstha VS Commissioner of CGST & Central Excise, Aurangabad 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1550

The Mumbai Bench of Customs, Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) held that no service tax is levied on coaching provided to students for competitive entrance examinations to gain admission to engineering and medical colleges. The two-member bench, Dr. Suvendu Kumar Pati (Member – Judicial) and Anil G. Shakkarwar (Member – Technical), relied on the decision in M/s. Shri Chaitanya Educational Committee Vs. CC, CE & ST, stating that the definition of “educational institution” in Section 66D of the Finance Act, 1994, exempts such activities from service tax. Setback to Crompton Greaves: CESTAT rules transformers constitute‘Inputs’ in terms of Rule 2(k) of CCR Crompton Greaves Ltd vs Commissioner of Central Excise 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1554 The Mumbai Bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), ruled that the transformers constitute ‘inputs’ in terms of rule 2(k) of the Cenvat Credit Rules (CCR), 2004.

The two-Member Bench of the Tribunal comprising CJ Mathew (Technical Member) and Ajay Sharma( Judicial Member) observed that“The impugned goods constitute ‘inputs’ in terms of rule 2(k) of CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004, rejection of claim for restoration of credit is not tenable. Accordingly, the applications are restored to the original authority for disposal in terms of section 11B of Central Excise Act, 1944” the Bench concluded. Relief to Forbes Facility Services: CESTAT grants Service Tax Exemption asServices were provided to SEZ Unit Forbes Facility Services Pvt. Ltd vs Commissioner of CGST and Central Excise, Mumbai Central 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1553 The Mumbai Bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), granted service tax exemption as services were provided to SEZ unit. The two Member Bench of the Tribunal comprised of S.K.Mohanty, Member(Judicial) and M. M. Parthiban, Member (Technical). The two hospitals involved in this case, namely GPPH and MAIDS, are operated by the Government of N.C.T. We have scrutinized the agreements between the Appellant and G. B. Pant Hospital, a government entity of N.C.T., New Delhi. The agreement was made by the service recipient on behalf of the President of India, indicating that the hospital in question is a Government Hospital.

The two hospitals involved in this case, namely GPPH and MAIDS, are operated by the Government of N.C.T. We have scrutinized the agreements between the Appellant and G. B. Pant Hospital, a government entity of N.C.T., New Delhi. The agreement was made by the service recipient on behalf of the President of India, indicating that the hospital in question is a Government Hospital. The bench observed that “In respect of claiming exemption for payment of service tax on the services provided to SEZ Unit/Developer, the Notification No. 09/2009-S.T. dated 03.03.2009 as amended, in explicit terms provides that the services provided to the SEZ should be considered to grant of the benefit of exemption. In the case in hand, since the appellant had in fact provided the services to an unit of SEZ unit, in our considered view the benefit of the exemption provided under the Notification dated 03.03.2009 should also be available.” Subsidy received from Sale of Mobile Handsets purchased from Independent Vendors is BAS, chargeable to Service Tax: CESTAT M/s Balaji Trading Co vs Commissioner (Appeals), Central Excise and Central Goods and Service Tax 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1555

The New Delhi Bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), observed that the subsidy received from sale of mobile handsets purchased from independent vendors is business auxiliary services (BAS), chargeable to service tax. The two-Member Bench comprised of Justice Dilip Gupta, President and PV Subba Rao, Technical Member. The bench based its decision based on Balaji Enterprises versus Commissioner of Central Excise and Service Tax, Jaipur where the tribunal observed that “subsidy received by the appellant from Tata Tele Services on the sale of mobile handsets purchased by the appellant from independent vendors can be said to be an amount received for providing “business auxiliary services” to Tata Tele Services and, therefore, chargeable to service tax.” Responsibility of CB is to play Crucial Role in protecting Interest of Revenue: CESTAT imposes Penalty of Rs 10, 000 on CB Atlantic Customs Brokers vs Commissioner of Customs 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1556 The Mumbai Bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), imposed penalty of Rupees 10,000 on the Customs Broker (CB) and observed that the responsibility of CB is to play crucial role in protecting interest of the revenue.

The court observed “In view of the failure of the appellants to have acted in a proactive manner in fulfilment of the obligation under sub-regulation 10(a) ibid, particularly when they have received the documents from importer through intermediary logistics operator, we find that it is justifiable to impose a penalty of Rs.10,000/- against the appellants…” A Two Member Bench of the Tribunal comprising S.K. Mohanty, Member (Judicial) and M.M. Parthiban, Member (Technical) observed that “we are of the considered view that the responsibility of a Customs Broker is to play a crucial role in protecting the interest of Revenue and at the same time he is expected to facilitate expeditious clearance of import/export cargo by complying with all legal requirements.” Availment of CENVAT credit of Excise Duty without proper receipt of goods: CESTAT Upholds Credit Demand M/s Saha Industries vs Commissioner of Central Excise 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1565 The Kolkata bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) held that the availment of the CENVAT credit of excise duty without proper receipt of goods. The two-member bench comprised of Ashok Jindal (Judicial) and Anpazhakan (Technical).

The Bench observed that the assessee was involved only in paper transactions by taking invoices without any receipt of the goods in their premises and thereafter, enabling the recipient of the assessee to take credit without proper receipt of the goods. Livelihood of Customs Broker and Employees is Dependent upon Functioning of Customs brokers Business: CESTAT quashes Revocation of CB Licence M/s H2O Logistics vs Principal Commissioner of Customs(General) 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1563 The Mumbai Bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) quashed the revocation of customs broker (CB) Licence and observed that livelihood of Customs broker and employees is dependent upon functioning of Customs brokers business.

The two-Member Bench of the Tribunal comprised S.K. Mohanty, Member (Judicial) and M.M. Parthiban, Member. The bench observed that the timelines indicate that the suspension was continued during the inquiry proceedings for about 22 months. Normally, immediate suspension action prior to conduct of regular inquiry is taken considering the serious violations of CBLR, 2018 by the action of the Customs broker. Otherwise, the regulations provide for conducting regular inquiry, while license of Customs broker is in operation, for taking a decision on the suspension or revocation of the license.

If the entire process of suspension proceedings is unduly delayed, then the very purpose of prescribing specific time limits in relation to conduct of inquiry proceedings is nullified and to such extent the actions of the authorities is not really sanctioned by law. Splitting Value of Modem Artificially as value of Hardware and Value of Software so as to Evade Payment of duty: CESTAT upholds Excise Duty Demand MRO-TEK Ltd VS The Commissioner of Central Excise (Appeals-II) No.16/1, 5th Floor 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1564 The Bangalore Bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) upheld the excise duty demand as there was splitting value of modem artificially as value of Hardware and value of the software so as to evade payment of duty. The bench, comprising DM Misra (Judicial Member) and R Bhagya Devi (Technical Member), noted that the appellant, despite customers’ purchase orders covering the total modem value with embedded software, knowingly separated the value into hardware and software components to avoid duty payment.

The bench rejected the appellant’s argument that they believed in good faith in declaring the software value separately. Consequently, the Tribunal found no merit in the appeal and saw no reason to interfere with the Commissioner’s order. Relief to Honda Cars: CESTAT quashes Excise Duty Demand Honda Cars India Ltd vs Commissioner of Central Excise Raigad 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1558 The Mumbai Bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), quashed excise duty demand, thereby granting relief to M./s, Honda Cars. The Tribunal, comprising Ajay Sharma (Judicial Member) and CJ Mathew (Technical Member), observed that the appellant’s imported goods, upon being repacked after customs clearance, undergo a manufacturing process subject to excise duties under section 4A of the Central Excise Act, 1944.

The affixing of the ‘retail selling price (RSP)’ becomes the final declaration for assessment. The Tribunal held that there is no application of Explanation 2(a) under section 4A, as there are no two prices. In favor of the appellant, the Tribunal set aside the demand, including interest and penalties, based on a prior Tribunal decision in their favor for the earlier period. CESTAT upholds Demand of Cenvat Credit of Service Tax paid on Outdoor Catering Service for Normal Period M/s Hawkins Cookers Limited vs Commissioner of CGST & Central Excise, Thane 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1557 The Mumbai Bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) upheld the demand of cenvat credit of service tax paid on outdoor catering service for normal period.

M.M. Parthiban, Member (Technical) was the sole member on the bench .The issue in dispute is in respect of Cenvat Credit taken by the appellants in respect of canteen facilities provided to their employees and staff, during shifts and office timings, and availing of service tax paid thereon in respect of services provided by an ‘outdoor caterer’ as eligible ‘input service’. The tribunal deemed the demand for interest for the extended period to be unsustainable, citing the Department’s awareness of the issue, as evidenced by a previous Tribunal order and various appellate authorities’ actions. The Tribunal set aside the interest and penalty imposed in the impugned order, confirming the Order-in-Original dated 27.06.2019.

The matter is remanded back to the original authority to re-quantify the demand for the normal period related to the contested outdoor catering service on which Cenvat Credit was claimed by the appellants. CESTAT grants Cenvat Credit on Supply of Inputs by Manufacturers of Copper Commissioner of Central Excise Belapur vs KSH International Pvt Ltd 2023 TAXSCAN (CESTAT) 1559 The Mumbai Bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) granted Cenvat Credit on the supply of inputs by manufacturers of copper.

The two-Member Bench comprise of CJ Mathew, Technical Member and Ajay Sharma, Judicial Member. M/s KSH International Pvt Ltd, a manufacturer of insulated conductors containing essential copper, was engaged in supplying its final product both domestically and for exports, fulfilling obligations under the ‘advance licence/authorization scheme’ of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP). To acquire the primary ingredient, copper, duty-free, the respondent sourced it from M/s Hindalco Industries Ltd and M/s Sterlite Industries Ltd between October 2004 and March 2009.

This was done by paying a duty of ₹5,26,47,414/- upon the invalidation of the ‘advance authorization’ to that extent. The bench observed that the manufacturers of copper had discharged the duty on the supplied inputs to the respondent. As a consequence there is no basis for denying eligibility for CENVAT credit.The bench held that there was no necessity to go into the aspect as to whether the biscuits can qualify as foodstuff to be eligible for the exemption.

Leave a Reply