2023 (1) TMI 546 - HC - Service Tax
Benefit of SVLDRS - Revenue filed the appeal after the expiry of limitation of Scheme - Rejection of declaration filed by the petitioner under Section 125 (2) of SABKA VISHWAS (LEGACY DISPUTE RESOLUTION) SCHEME, 2019 , in Form SVLDRS-1 - jurisdiction of Designated Committee in terms of Section 126 of SABKA VISHWAS (LEGACY DISPUTE RESOLUTION) SCHEME, 2019 - extension of benefit by issuance of Discharge Certificate to the petitioner after accepting the amount which the petitioner is liable to deposit under the Scheme of 2019.
HELD THAT:- It appears that from bare perusal of Section 126 as well as Section 127 of the SVLDRS Scheme and its corresponding Rules being Rule 6 of SVLDRS Rule, it would transpires that the Designated Committee constituted under the Scheme was only required to verify the correctness of the declaration filed by the declarant and estimate the amount payable by such declarant for availing the benefit of the said Scheme, Thus, Designated Committee has not been vested with any jurisdiction to deny the benefit of the Scheme to a declarant on the sole ground that department has taken for filing an Appeal against the Order in Original. The impugned order passed by respondent no.2 is wholly without jurisdiction and beyond its power conferred under the Scheme of 2019. The Designated Committee travelled beyond the purview of the Scheme and acted in a wholly illegally and arbitrary manner by denying the benefit of the Scheme to the petitioner.
The crux of the case revolves around the category i.e. arrears or litigation under which the case of the Petitioner will fall. From bare perusal of the aforesaid provisions of Scheme, it would transpire that the nature of cases falling under Section 121(c) is categorized under "arrears category". Section 123(a), 123(b) and 123(c) deals with cases falling under "litigation category" for determining tax dues under the Scheme. The said provisions of Section 123 are not applicable to the case of the Petitioner, as admittedly, no Appeal was pending as on 30. 06.2019 and the show cause notice was received by the Petitioner on 10.08.2019 i.e. after the cut off date of 30.06.2019 - Further, no enquiry or investigation or audit was pending against the Petitioner as on 30.06.2019. Thus, calculation of Tax payable under Section 124(1)(a) by the Designated Committee is unwarranted.
As on the date of filing of the declaration form by the Petitioner, no Appeal was filed and/or pending before the Appellate Forum. Indeed for the purpose of determination of tax dues, the case of the petitioner does not fall under Section 123 of the scheme of 2019 as Department had not preferred an Appeal against the Order in Original as on the said date - It further appears that the appeal of the Department has been filed after the expiry of period of limitation prescribed under Section 86(3) of the Finance Act as the said provision provides a period of limitation of three months which has expired on 14.04.2020. Thus, it transpires that in the opinion of the respondent filing of the appeal has led to change in the category of petitioner from “arrear category” to “litigation category” which view is beyond the letter and spirit of the scheme.
The impugned Order wherein the Declaration filed by the petitioner under Section 125 (2) of SABKA VISHWAS (LEGACY DISPUTE RESOLUTION) SCHEME, 2019, in Form SVLDRS 1 has been rejected, is quashed - Application allowed.