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8 Jul 2014

Benefit of Amnesty Scheme cannot be denied if the declaration does not bear reference to subject matter in dispute

In a recent judgment by Delhi High Court, the benefit of amnesty scheme has been granted to assessee, on the grounds that in accordance with Section 106, the subject matter of declaration does not correspond to the matter under dispute.

Reference herein is the case of Frankfinn Aviation Services (P.) Ltd. V. Assistant Commissioner, Designated Authority, VCES, Service Tax, (2014) 46 taxmann.com 39 (Delhi), wherein the VCES application of the appellant was denied on the grounds that a similar issue was pending before the adjudicating authority. As per the facts of the case, the appellant for the period prior to 27-02-2010, was claiming exemption under notification dated 10-09-2004 but the same was under dispute. With effect from 27-02-2010, the law was amended and appellant paid service tax upto 31-3-2012, after which default in payment was made from 1-04-2012 to 31-12-2012. For such period i.e. 1-04-2012 to 31-12-2012; the appellant filed VCES, which was rejected as the matter was disputed and was pending with the adjudicating authority. Taking into consideration the position of law and the appellant’s arguments, the Hon’ble High Court held that since after the amendment in law, the legal position of the enactment has changed, the subject matter of dispute does not remain same as that intended in VCES application. Hence, declaring the two as different matters, the case was decided in favour of assessee.