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16 Oct 2015

Relief cannot be granted if assesse does not comply with provisions of VCES, 2013"

Recently on 1st September, 2015, Hon’ble Bombay High Court dismissed Writ petition no. 1735 of 2015, seeking availment of benefit of ST- Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme (VCES), 2013, by the petitioner in the matter of Sunil Agnihotri Productions vs. Union of India and others, 2015-TIOL-2190-HC-MUM-ST.

In the instant case, petitioner does not dispute that under the Scheme and for availing the benefits thereof, there is a condition that the Petitioner must and on or before 31st December 2013 should pay not less than 50 % of the tax dues and submit proof thereof. However, Petitioner could not comply with this condition and pointed out his own difficulties.

On this issue, the court noted that they have not been shown any right created by any law in favour of the parties like the Petitioner that they will go on defaulting in payment of tax and that their hard and difficult times should be taken note of either by the authorities or by the Court to give such concessions and reliefs as are now sought. If the admitted tax dues is not remitted and deposited even under the Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme, 2013, then the Petitioner cannot fault the authorities for addressing the impugned communications, recovering 'tax dues' by coercive means if permissible in law.

Furthermore, Court cannot compel the service tax department to recover the amounts as desired by the Petitioner and in a particular manner alone. Once there is nothing contrary in law and recovery by the means resorted is permissible, then at the instance of the present Petitioner, they do not think that exercise of discretionary and equitable jurisdiction is warranted.