2023 (1) TMI 940 - HC - Service Tax
Rejection of Application for condoning the delay in filing an appeal - sale of space or time for advertisement - HELD THAT:- The Petitioner stated that discussions & deliberation were made in the Cabinet on the representations of the Railways for exemption from service tax liability and as result of the same, an amendment has been introduced in the Act of 1994 by incorporating section 99 in the Finance Bill-2013. This information was circulated to all the Zonal General Managers of the Indian Railway by the Ministry of Railway through Railway Board by Circular dated 5 March 2013. The Petitioner has stated that thereafter, the Respondents also did not pursue the demand raised by them under the show cause notice presuming that exemption is granted to the Railways for the period in question. When the Petitioner received the demand, the Petitioner informed to the Assistant Commissioner about the amendment and requested to waive the demand with retrospective effect as there was no dues in view of the amendment.
The Petitioner has thus stated that the delay is not deliberate but in view of the fact that since the Railways bona fide believed that the liability of service tax for the period from 2006 to 2009 which is the subject matter of demand stood wiped off.
Further, either allowing the application for condonation of delay or rejecting the same were not the only options available with the Tribunal. Equities could have been balanced by imposing suitable conditions, which option has not been considered by the Tribunal at all - the equities in the case can be balanced by granting application for condonation of delay, subject to the Petitioner depositing 25% of the principal amount.