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2018 (4) TMI 777

vehicle owners towards the rent payable for such vehicles - Held that: - Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 empowers the State Government, for notification of National Park as well as to restrict the entry of visitors as well as vehicles into the National Park. - The CBEC has issued master circular No.96/7/2007 ST dated 23.08.2007. One of the issues clarified is regarding whether the activities of sovereign/public authorities performed under the statute can be considered as provision of service, for purpose of levy of Service Tax. In S.No.999.01, circular has clarified that any fee collected as per the provisions of the relevant statute for performing mandatory and statutory functions under the provisions of any law are not to be treated .....

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demand Service Tax on the amounts so collected by the appellant under the category of Tour Operator Service falling under Section 65 (105) (n) ibid. After the due process of adjudication, Service Tax was ordered to be paid along with interest and penalties under various Sections of the Finance Act,1994. Aggrieved by the impugned order, the present appeals have been filed 2. With the above background, we heard Shri Jatin Mahajan, Advocate for the appellant as well as Shri Sanjay Jain, DR. 3. The ld Advocate argued the case of the appellant and his arguments are summarized below: i) The appellant is a Department of the Govt. of Rajasthan. He denied that the appellant was acting as a Tour Operator. ii) Prior to 01.10.2008, the activity relati .....

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Corporation was issuing the permit and collecting the money towards entry fees as well as vehicles, the entire amount collected was deposited with the State Govt. in appropriate head of account. vii) The appellant department was not engaged in the activity of organizing any tour and hence were not covered within the definition of Section 65(115) of the Act. viii) Lastly, he submitted that CBEC has clarified that charges recovered by any sovereign/public authority for carrying-out any statutory function will not be liable for Service Tax. 4. The ld DR justified the impugned order. He argued that State Forest Department had made arrangements for supply of vehicles to tourists for going around the National Park and has recovered amounts towar .....

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business of operaing tours in a tourist vehicle or a contract carriage by whatever name called, covered by a permit, other than a stage carriage permit, granted under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 or ,the rules made thereunder. Explanation,__ For the purpose of this clause, the expression tour does not include a journey organized or arranged for use by an educational body than a commercial training or coaching centre, imparting skill or knowledge or lessons on any subject or field; 8. It is to be noted that the definition prior to 16.05.2008 as well as subsequent to that date is applicable to any person engaged in the business of planning, scheduling, organizing or arranging tours. 9. The main argument advanced by the appellant against such .....

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clarified that any fee collected as per the provisions of the relevant statute for performing mandatory and statutory functions under the provisions of any law are not to be treated as services provided for consideration. 12. In the present case, we note that the amount recovered from the tourists are credited to the account of the State Govt. after reimbursing the vehicle owners towards the rent payable for such vehicles. The above activities of the appellant, are to be seen in the context of Wilde Life Protection Act as well as Rules. We are of the view that Forest Department has the mandatory duty to protect the environment and to safeguard forests and wild life. Amounts recovered by them towards issue of entry permits as well as vehicle .....

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