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2016 (6) TMI 323 - KERALA HIGH COURT

2016 (6) TMI 323 - KERALA HIGH COURT - 2016 (43) S.T.R. 348 (Ker.) - Denial of benefit of Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme, 2013 - Delayed payment of second installment of 50% amount - Recovery of service tax dues for the period April 2008 to March 2015 - Petitioner paid 50% of the tax dues and the balance amount of 50% together with interest thereon was paid by him only on 06.01.2015 - Held that:- the VCES Scheme, 2013, is in the nature of an Amnesty Scheme and, therefore, its provisio .....

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ers under Art. 226 of the Constitution of India. - In the instant case, although the delay occasioned by the petitioner is only of six days from the cut off date mentioned under the Scheme, it has to be borne in mind that the actual amount to be paid under the Scheme was to be paid on or before June 2014 and the extension of time from June 2014 to 31st December, 2014, itself was by way of an exception to the main provisions so as to enable a defaulter to pay the amounts that fell due by June .....

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Benny For the Respondent: Sri. Ranjith Jacob Koshy, SC, Sri. Thomas Mathew Nellimoottil, SC J U D G M E N T The challenge in the writ petition is against Ext.P6 communication issued to the petitioner by the 2nd respondent whereby the petitioner was informed that, on account of a delayed payment of the amount under the Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme, 2013, the petitioner would be denied the benefit of the said Scheme, and recovery of service tax dues fo .....

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d by him only on 06.01.2015. It is stated that while he had paid the first tranche of 50% within the time contemplated under the Scheme, he had paid the second tranche of 50%, together with interest, only with a marginal delay of six days from the date fixed under the Scheme. It is his contention therefore that for this marginal delay he should not be denied the substantive benefit that was offered to assessees under the VCES Scheme, 2013. The learned counsel for the respondent would vehemently .....

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2. I have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned Standing Counsel appearing on behalf of the respondents. 3. On a consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case and the submissions made across the bar, I find that, it is not in dispute that the petitioner had complied with the requirements of the Scheme with regard to the payment of the first tranche of 50% of the tax due from him. As regards the second tranche comprising of the balance 50%, .....

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learned counsel for the petitioner, relying on the decisions of the Supreme Court rendered in the context of interpretation of exemption provisions under a taxing statute, that while the general rule is that an exemption provision under a taxing statute should be strictly construed against an assessee and in favour of the revenue, the strict interpretation would apply only to ascertain whether the petitioner is entitled to the benefit of the exemption. It is his contention that once the petition .....

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