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2023 (9) TMI 304 - DELHI HIGH COURT
Refund of unutilised CENVAT - export of services - intermediary services or not - place of provision of services - location of the recipient of services or not - HELD THAT:- As per Rule 6(A), the provision of service shall be treated as export of service when the place of provision of service is outside India. As per Rule 3 of the POPS Rules, the place of provision of a service shall be the location of the recipient of service. However, vide Rule 9(c) of POPS Rules, the place of provision for “Intermediary services” would be the location of the service provider.
On a careful perusal of the terms and conditions of the aforesaid Agreement dated 14 July 2011 between SingTel and SGIPL, there are no legal infirmity or irrational approach adopted by the learned CESTAT when it comes to conclude that SGIPL is not providing ‘intermediary services’. The plea that SGIPL is not providing any services on its own account is misplaced. It is manifest that there is no contract between SingTel and service providers in India like Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance etc., and the agreement between SGIPL and SingTel is on principal-to-principal basis - Clause 19 of the Agreement specifically stipulates that the relationship of the parties to the Agreement shall always and only be that of independent contractors and nothing in the Agreement shall create or be deemed to create a partnership or the relationship of principal and agent or employer and employee between the parties. Incidentally, the appellant has not even alleged that the aforesaid agreement is a camouflage, fraudulent or designed to get over the service tax dragnet.
The issue that came to be was addressed by the Co-ordinate Bench was whether the telecommunication services provided by Verizon India for the period in question amounted to ‘export of services’ within the meaning of Rule 6(A) of the ST Rules - This was answered in the affirmative. It was held that since the recipient of the service Verizon US was outside India, Verizon India rightly treated it as an ‘export of service’ and accordingly it was exempted from the liability of paying service tax.
The present appeals are bereft of any merit. Accordingly, the same are dismissed.