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2015 (7) TMI 822 - ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT

2015 (7) TMI 822 - ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT - 2015 (39) S.T.R. 941 (All.) - Demand of service tax from Officer Incharge of the Magh Mela at Allahabad - Mandap Keeper Service - Held that:- Definition of Mandap Keeper and Mandap makes it apparently clear that the petitioner does not come under this definition clause. The petitioner is a Pandal or Shamiyana contractor providing services in connection with the preparation, arrangement, erection or decoration of a Pandal or Shamiyana. Further, we find, t .....

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er the Circular dated 17.9.2004. In the instant case the tender invited by the Mela Officer was for the purpose of erection of temporary tents etc. in the Mela area during the Magh Mela season for the year 2004-05. Since the supply of the tents by the petitioner was for a religious congregation, which was held in the Mela area at Allahabad, the respondent No.1 was not liable to pay the Service Tax to the petitioner - Decided against Petitioner. - Civil Misc. Writ Petition (Tax) No. 768 of 2005 - .....

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m various Pandals and Shamiyana contractors for supply of various items as specified in the tender notice, such as tents, etc. The tender submitted by the petitioner was accepted by the Mela Officer Incharge. An agreement for supply of tents on hire purchase basis was executed. Clause 11 of the agreement specified that Trade Tax and Service Tax would be payable by the Officer Incharge, Magh Mela. The petitioner contends that based on the agreement, the petitioner supplied the necessary tents and .....

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ought opinion from the District Government Counsel, who has opined that the Mela Officer was not liable to pay the Service Tax inasmuch as Pandal or Shamiyana services provided by the petitioner was for pure religious ceremonies or congregation, which was held in the Allahabad Magh Mela area. The petitioner, being aggrieved by the non-payment of the Service Tax, has filed the present writ petition for the quashing the letter dated 20.3.2005, by which the Mela Officer has declined to make the pay .....

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ng that the petitioner is a "Mandap keeper" and, accordingly, Service Tax is liable to be paid by him. The petitioner has filed a supplementary affidavit indicating that it has received a notice of demand dated 7.4.2006 issued by respondent No.2, i.e., the Central Excise Department, by which the petitioner has been directed to pay the Service Tax, interest and penalty on the bills raised by it to the Mela Officer. In the light of these facts, we have heard Sri Suyash Agarwal, the learn .....

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hamiyana means - the place specially prepared for arranged for organizing an official, social or business function." Section 65(77b) of the Finance Act defines Pandal and Shamiyana contractor as under:- "Pandal or Shamiyana contractor means - a person engaged in providing any service, either directly or indirectly in connection with the preparation, arrangement, erection or decoration of a Pandal or Shamiyana and includes the supply of furniture, fixtures, lights and light fitting, flo .....

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irectly or indirectly in connection with the preparation, arrangement, erection or declaration of a Pandal or Shamiyana which included supply of furniture, fixtures etc. However a clarification dated 17.9.2004 was issued by the Department. Paragraph 11.4 of the Circular dated 17.9.2004 is extracted herein: "It is clarified that pandal/shamiana services provided for pure religious ceremonies or congregation for example, for worship of Gods/Goddesses, are not liable to service tax. It is also .....

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f Section 65(66) read with Section 65(67) of the Finance Act, the petitioner being a Mandap keeper is liable to pay Service Tax. For facility, Section 65(66) and 65(67) of the Finance Act, 1994 are extracted hereunder: "(66) "mandap" means any immovable property as defined in section 3 of the Transfer Property Act, 1882 (4 of 1882) and includes any furniture, fixtures, light fittings and floor coverings therein let out for a consideration for organising any official, social or bus .....

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anizing any official, financial, social or business function. The Mandap is in relationship to any immovable property as defined under Section 3 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 and includes any furniture and fixtures etc. We are of the opinion that the definition of Mandap Keeper and Mandap makes it apparently clear that the petitioner does not come under this definition clause. The petitioner is a Pandal or Shamiyana contractor providing services in connection with the preparation, arrang .....

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