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M/s Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India, M/s ICFAIAN Foundation, M/s ICFAI University, Dehra Dun, M/s ICFAI University, Tripura Versus Commissioner of Service Tax, Bangalore

2017 (11) TMI 349 - CESTAT HYDERABAD

Commercial training and coaching centre services - Extended period of limitation - effect of amendment, retrospective or prospective - N/N. 9/2003-ST dated 20.06.2003 as amended by N/N. 24/2003-ST dated 10.09.2004 - Held that: - the explanation as to what is vocational training institute indicates that the said exemption can be extended to any vocational training institute which imparts skills to enable the trainee to seek employment or undertake self-employment directly after such training or c .....

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ully completing the educational programmes of the appellants are being selected for employment by various organisations. - It is evident that the term "vocational training institute" included the commercial training or coaching centers which provide vocational coaching or training meant to "impart skills to enable the trainees to seek employment or to have self employment directly after such training or coaching. The notion of such training institute having been recognized or accredited to n .....

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Notification No. 10 of 2004. - Service tax demands raised and confirmed in the denovo adjudication by denying the benefit of exemption notification for the period 1.07.2003 to 31.3.2005 is incorrect and unsustainable - appeal allowed - decided in favor of appellant. - ST/21377/2014, ST/21379-21381/2014 - A/31654-31657/2014 - Dated:- 24-10-2017 - Mr. M. V. Ravindran, Member (Judicial) And Mr. Madhu Mohan Damodhar, Member (Technical) Mr. G. Shivadas, Advocate for the Appellant Mr. R. Narsimha .....

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four appellants are registered with the various authorities as deemed private university and impart knowledge and offer various educational programmes at under-graduate and post-graduate levels; University Grants Commission has recognised them as university under UGC Act 1956. Show-cause notices were issued to appellants demanding service tax under the category of commercial training and coaching centre services invoking extended period of limitation with proposal to impose interest and penalti .....

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India. By Finance Act 2010, an explanation was introduced to the definition of commercial coaching and training centre with retrospective effect from 01.07.2003 which clarified the position as to the taxability of any society registered under Society or as a Trust will be liable to service tax. Noting the said retrospective amendment, the Apex Court by order dated 14.02.2011 remanded the matter to the Tribunal to examine the case denovo in the light of retrospective explanation inserted under S .....

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t. Since there was an error in the said Final Order dated 31.07.2012, appellants filed an application for rectification of mistake which was disposed of by the Tribunal by Miscellaneous Order dated 23.07.2013 by rectifying the mistake which was apparent on the face of the record. Subsequently, the adjudicating authority took up the matter for denovo proceedings and by the impugned order-in-original confirmed the demands holding that appellants are not eligible for the benefit of Notification No. .....

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ing in as much as the same set of documents had already been examined and factual findings to that extent had been rendered in respect of as to whether the appellant would be university or otherwise. By looking at the various certificates issued by the appellants for the graduate and the post-graduate programmes. He would submit that the factual matrix which was examined by the Tribunal in the 1st Order and the 2nd Order was the same and hence it could not have been held by the Tribunal in the t .....

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the observation of the Hon'ble High Court of Allahabad would apply squarely in this case and the Tribunal could not have departed from the view expressed by the Tribunal in the 1st Order. It is his further submission that the appellants were recognised by the law as a university and hence do not fall under the ambit of definition of commercial coaching or training centre and hence there is no service tax liability on them. It is also his submission that this view has been aptly gone into by .....

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Notification No. 9/2003 would be applicable in the case in hand as the students who undertake and complete the programmes of the appellants are offered jobs or can support their own business. For this proposition he would rely upon the decision of the Tribunal in the case of Ashu Export Promoters (P) Ltd Vs CST New Delhi [2012(25)STR 359(Tri-Del)] as affirmed by the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi as reported at 2014-TIOL-379-HC Del; reliance is placed upon the decision of the Tribunal in the ca .....

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n by the adjudicating authority as also at Paragraph No.11 would apply in its full force in as much the term National Training Institute in common parlance did not include the various educational programmes that have been conducted by the appellants and CBEC Circular No.59/08/03-ST dated 20.06.2003 indicate that vocational coaching and training would mean typing and short-hand institutes TV/vehicle repair training institutes, ITI, foreign language institutes. Institutes imparting knowledge of pa .....

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ting authority in the order-in-original has held against the appellant for denying the benefit of Notification No.9/2003-ST and 24/2004 only on the ground that appellant is not a vocational training institute. According to the term vocational training institute does not include various educational programmes conducted by the appellant in the field of management, finance, banking, insurance, accounts law etc. and the exemption notification has to be construed strictly for claiming the benefit of .....

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we need not record any findings as those submissions. Hence, in our view, raising the question before the Tribunal again on the same issue and praying that the second order of the Tribunal be set aside seems to be a prayer made before the wrong Forum. In view of this we reject the submissions made by the learned counsel on this point. 8. We take up the second point raised by the appellant as to availability of benefit of Notification No.9/2003-ST dated 20th June 2003 and Notification No.24/2004- .....

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g institute; (b) a computer training institute; or (c) a recreational training institute; to any person, from the whole of the service tax leviable thereon under sub-section (2) of section 66 of the said Act. Explanation.- For the purposes of this notification, - (i) "vocational training institute" means a commercial training or coaching centre which provides vocational coaching or training that impart skills to enable the trainee to seek employment or undertake self-employment, direct .....

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hall remain in force upto and inclusive of the 29th day of February, 2004. [Notification No. 24/2004-S.T., dated 10-9-2004] "In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 93 of the Finance Act, 1994 (32 of 1994), the Central Government, being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, hereby exempts the taxable services provided in relation to commercial training or coaching, by, - (a) a vocational training institute; or (b) a recreational training i .....

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rcial training or coaching centre which provides training or coaching relating to recreational activities such as dance, singing, martial arts or hobbies." 9. It can be seen from the above reproduced notifications that the explanation as to what is vocational training institute indicates that the said exemption can be extended to any vocational training institute which imparts skills to enable the trainee to seek employment or undertake self-employment directly after such training or coachi .....

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ully completing the educational programmes of the appellants are being selected for employment by various organisations. On this factual matrix, we find that the decision of the Tribunal in the case of Ashu Export Promoters Pvt Ltd., (supra) which has been affirmed by the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi is covering the issue in favour of the appellant. We reproduce the said ratio: "11. It is evident that the term "vocational training institute" included the commercial training or .....

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o National Council for Vocational Training offering courses in designated trade in fact supports the assessee. Had the intention been to exempt only such class or category of institutions, the appropriate authority would have designed such a condition in the original Notification of 2003 and Notification No.10 of 2004 which had been relied upon in this case." We also find that the coordinate bench of the Tribunal presided over by the Hon'ble President in the case of Actor prepares Vs CS .....

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for exemption under Notification No. 24/2004-S.T., is yet disentitled to the benefit of the exemption. The adjudicating authority assumed that the assessee is not entitled to exemption from the liability to Service Tax, as the assessee did not satisfy the requirement of a vocational training institute as defined in exemption Notification No.3/2010-S.T. 6. In our considered view, this assumption by Revenue and by the adjudicating authority is fallacious and misconceived. The power to grant exempt .....

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