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DATE OF DECISION : 09-12-2013

Barnala Builders & Property Consultants v Dy. C.C.E. & S.T., Dera Bassi


2014 (35) S.T.R. 65 (P & H)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB & HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH

Rajive Bhalla and Dr. Bharat Bhushan Parsoon, JJ.

BARNALA BUILDERS & PROPERTY CONSULTANTS

Versus

DY. C.C.E. & S.T., DERA BASSI

Civil Writ Petition No. 26929 of 2013, decided on 9-12-2013

Writ jurisdiction vis-a-vis Statutory Appeal - Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme - Order passed by Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise and Service Tax is appealable under Section 86 of Finance Act, 1994 - Liberty given to file appeal - Appeal if filed to be decided within fortnight - Article 226 of Constitution of India. [para 3]

Petition dismissed

DEPARTMENTAL CLARIFICATION CITED

C.B.E. & C. Circular dated 8-8-2013 ............................................................................... [Paras 2, 3]

REPRESENTED BY :        S/Shri R. Santhanam and Ajay Jain, Advocates, for the Petitioner.

[Order per : Rajive Bhalla, J. (Oral)]. - The impugned order, in our considered opinion, is appealable, under Section 86 of the Indian Finance Act, 1994, particularly as the scheme under which the petitioner has applied, is part and parcel of the aforesaid Finance Act, by virtue of the Indian Finance Act, 2013.

2.Faced with this situation, counsel for the petitioner has pressed into service circular, dated 8-8-2013, issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs, stating that such an order is not appealable.

3.We are unable to accept correctness of instructions issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs, for the simple reason that after incorporation of the Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme into the Finance Act, all other provisions of the Act except to the extent specifically excluded, apply to proceedings under the scheme. The impugned order passed by the Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise and Service Tax would necessarily be appealable under Section 86 of the Indian Finance Act, 1994. Faced with this situation, counsel for the petitioner prays that the writ petition may be dismissed as withdrawn with liberty to file an appeal. It is further prayed that the appeal may be directed to be decided within fortnight.

4.In view of the statement made by counsel for the petitioner, the writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn with liberty to file an appeal. In case, such an appeal is filed, it shall be considered and decided within a fortnight. The petitioner shall be free to raise all available pleas, in accordance with law.