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Mercedes Benz Ltd Versus Commissioner of Central Excise

2017 (12) TMI 327 - CESTAT MUMBAI

Refund claim - delay in filing refund claim - section 11B of Central Excise Act, 1944 - Held that: - The motor vehicle having been consumed for the purpose for which the exemption was intended and there being no reasonable cause to presume that legislature intended the withholding of the burden only for such consumption within a limited period, the failure to file the refund claim within the time frame prescribed in the impugned notification should not lead to denial of the claim if it did not e .....

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ngs poses consequences that manifestly displays patent lack of comprehension of statutory provisions that are sought to be implemented. Therefore, prior to scrutiny of facts pertaining to this dispute, it may be worthwhile to recall the scheme of exemption that that is at the root. 2. In order that public conveyance such as taxis are not burdened by duties intended for vehicles for private use, an effective rate of duty with exemption through refund mechanism has been adopted by the Central Gove .....

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within three months of such clearance and filing of formal claim of refund within six months of such clearance. Besides stipulating conditions, procedures are also described alongside in accordance with which the manufacturer is required to credit the account current such duties as are exempted by the notification before applying for refund and the proper officer is mandated to determine the eligible amount to enable the manufacturer to reduce the amount earlier credited in the account current. .....

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red in this dispute. In consequence, the issue for determination is the detriment that the appellant has been visited with owing to rejection of the claim for refund. 5. The appellant, M/s Mercedes Benz Ltd, who had cleared the car to their dealer, M/s T&T, on 30th March 2010 but filed refund claim of 5,75,750/- only on 3rd December 2010. The dealer had not, admittedly, sold it to the taxi operator, M/s Maan Tourist Transport Services Pvt Ltd, till 23rd July 2010 and was sent for registratio .....

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e is any dispute that the dealer sold the vehicle for use as a taxi to M/s Maan Tourist Transport Services Pvt Ltd. It is the non-compliance with the deadlines for registration as well as for filing the claim that led to rejection of the claim. 7. On behalf of appellant, Learned Counsel contends that the limitation prescribed in section 11B of Central Excise Act, 1944 cannot be truncated by a procedural notification for which reliance is placed on the decision of the Hon ble High Court of Delhi .....

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issioner of Central Excise, Pune-III [2013 (30) STR 71 (Tri-Mumbai)] and Amee Castor & Derivatives Ltd v. Commissioner of Central Excise, Ahmedabad [2010 (17) STR 582 (Tri-Ahmd)]. 8. In re Mihir Textiles Ltd, the Hon ble Supreme Court was called upon to decide if an exemption notification that was not sought at the time of import could be allowed subsequently through a claim for refund when eligibility could be claimed; in rejecting that option, the conditions prescribing eligibility were re .....

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ion 11B of Central Excise Act, 1944. It, however, needs noting that section 11B which bases the limitation period to count with effect from relevant date does not enumerate date of export as one among the many for computation and hence the conclusion of the Tribunal that the notification is a self-contained code into which another unrelated statutory provision could not be insinuated. 9. In the present dispute, the relevant date in the notification is date of payment of duty which mirrors that i .....

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8-2008 (by notification) became applicable. There is a body of law that essential legislative policy aspects (period of limitation being one such aspect) cannot be formulated or prescribed by subordinate legislation. Khemka and Co. (Agencies) Private Ltd. v. State of Maharashtra, (1975) 35 STC 571 and other decisions are authority on the question that in matters which deal with substantive rights, such as imposition of penalties and other provisions that adversely affect statutory rights, the pa .....

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oods justifying the extra burden both for garnering revenue and as a disincentive; obviously, legislature did not intend to saddle a public conveyance with that disincentive. The procedures prescribed in the notification were, obviously, intended to safeguard against its misuse and to ensure that there is no deviation from the general law. The particular mode of transfer of vehicles to a dealer before the alternative of private use versus public deployment could be made at the consumption end ne .....

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g. It is, therefore, necessary to ascertain if the time prescribed in the notification has any significance that can lead to an interpretation detrimental to the use of the motor vehicle as a public conveyance. That the notification enshrines the intention of not subjecting public conveyances to the burden that tasks private vehicles is to state the obvious. However, it does not appear to be reasonable that legislature intended only vehicles that were procured as taxis within six months of clear .....

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