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Case Law Details

Case Name : Lyka Labs Limited Vs Commissioner of Central Excise & ST (CESTAT Ahmedabad)
Appeal Number : Excise Appeal No. 11883 of 2015-DB
Date of Judgement/Order : 08/02/2024
Related Assessment Year :

Lyka Labs Limited Vs Commissioner of Central Excise & ST (CESTAT Ahmedabad)

In the legal case of Lyka Labs Ltd vs. Commissioner of Central Excise & ST (CESTAT Ahmedabad), the issue of a time-barred excise duty demand arose, despite the payment of such duty. Let’s delve into the details of this case, the arguments presented, and the final decision rendered by the authorities.

Background of the Case: Lyka Labs Ltd, engaged in the manufacturing of dutiable and exempted goods, faced a demand notice from the authorities for not following the prescribed procedure under Rule 6 of the Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004. Despite clearing excisable goods at a nil rate of duty, they were accused of not adhering to the requisite rules regarding the utilization of credit for manufacturing exempted goods.

Legal Arguments: The appellant argued that although the demand appeared time-barred, they had paid the proportionate credit attributed to the exempted goods. Citing legal precedents, they contended that penalties should not be imposed in such cases where the proportionate credit has been reversed.

Adjudication and Decision: After considering the submissions from both parties, the authorities acknowledged the strong prima facie case of time bar in favor of the appellant. Despite this, they recognized the payment made by the appellant towards the proportionate credit and decided not to contest it. Consequently, the demand for the proportionate credit was upheld, but no penalty was imposed. The appellant was instructed to pay interest until the date of reversal.

Conclusion: The case of Lyka Labs Ltd vs. CESTAT Ahmedabad sheds light on the complexities surrounding time-barred excise duty demands and penalty imposition. While the demand was deemed time-barred, the payment made by the appellant towards the credit played a crucial role in the final decision. This case underscores the importance of adherence to procedural rules and timely compliance in matters of excise duty.

In summary, understanding the intricacies of such legal cases is essential for businesses operating in industries subject to excise duty regulations. Compliance with statutory provisions and timely actions can mitigate potential penalties and legal disputes, ensuring smoother operations and regulatory adherence.

FULL TEXT OF THE CESTAT AHMEDABAD ORDER

The brief facts of the case are that the Appellant-Assessee is engaged in the manufacture of dutiable goods and also exempted goods under Notification No. 04/2006-CE dated 01.03.2006. They are availing the Cenvat credit in respect of input and input services which are utilized for dutiable as well as exempted goods. During the period December, 2008 to November, 2013 they cleared excisable goods value at Rs. 85,19,57,086/- at nil rate of duty. They have not followed the procedure as laid down under Rule 6 (3) (1)/(2)/3A of Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004 nor they reversed any credit utilized for manufacture of exempted goods. The show cause notice dated 28.12.2013 was issued to the appellant demanding Rs. 4,89,41,107/- which is equal to 5% or 6% of the value of the exempted goods. The Adjudicating Authority considering the submission of the appellant reduced the demand to Rs.60,15,116/- which is equal to the proportionate Cenvat credit on the input and input services attributable to the exempted goods. However, the demand of interest was also confirmed and equal amount of penalty was also imposed. Being aggrieved by the Order-In-Original, the appellant filed the present appeal.

2. Shri Shailesh Sheth, Learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the Appellant-Assessee submits that even though the demand is prima facie time bar but the appellant have admittedly paid the amount of proportionate credit of input and input services attributed to the exempted goods. Therefore, the penalty should not be imposed. He submits that it is a settled law that on reversal of proportionate credit no demand under Rule 6 (3) equal to 5% or 6% of value of the exempted goods is He placed reliance on the following judgments: –

  • Mercedes Benz India (P) Ltd – 2015 (40) STR 381 (Tri.- Mumbai)
  • CCE Ashima Dyecot Ltd – 2008 (232) ELT 580 (Guj.)
  • Commissioner Ashima Dyecot Ltd – 2009 (243) ELT A41(SC)
  • CCE, Ahmedabad –II Maize Products – 2009 (243) ELT 431 (Guj.)
  • CCE Maan Pharmaceuticals Ltd- 2011 (263) ELT 662 (Guj.)
  • Mangal Textile Pvt Ltd – 2014 (311) ELT 707 (Tri. Ahd)
  • JMC Projects India Ltd – 2023 (4) Centax 321 (Tri. Ahmd)
  • Surya Vistacom Pvt Ltd – 2023 (4) Centax 291 (Tri. Cal)
  • Etrans Solutions Pvt Ltd – 2020 (372) ELT 867 (Kolkata)
  • Reliance Life Insurance Ltd –2018 (363) ELT 1050 (Tri. Mumbai)
  • Aster Pvt Ltd – 2016 (43) STR 411 (Tri.- Hyd)
  • Alstom T & D India Ltd – 2019 (370) ELT 625 (Tri. Chennai)
  • Bombay Minerals Ltd – 2019(29) GSTL 361(Tri. Ahmd)
  • Punj Lloyd Ltd – 2015 (40) STR 1028 (Tri. Del)
  • CCE , Thane-I Nicholas Piramal (India) Ltd – 2009 (244) ELT 321 (Bom.)
  • Hind Lamps Ltd -2010(250) ELT 237 (Tri. Del)
  • CCE Goyal Proteins Ltd – 2017 (355) ELT 72 (Raj.)
  • Commissioner Goyal Proteins Ltd – 2017 (355) ELT A27 (SC)
  • Sahni Strips & Wires (P) Ltd – 2012 (283) ELT 418 (Tri. Del)

2.1 He submits that even though the appellant has a strong case on time bar according to which even the demand of Rs. 60,15,116/- becomes time bar but being law abiding assessee, the appellant are not disputing the payment of proportionate credit, on this basis also the penalty should be waived.

3. Shri S.S Vikal, Learned Assistant Commissioner (AR) appearing on behalf of the Revenue reiterates the finding of the impugned order.

4. We have carefully considered the submission made by both sides and perused the We find that the limited issue of penalty to be decided in the facts and circumstances of the present case. We find that the appellant have strong prima facie case on time bar, despite that the appellant have paid the proportionate credit of Rs. 60,15,116/- and despite the demand being time bar they are not contesting the payment of Rs. 60,15,116/- but they are only seeking a lenient view as regard imposition of equal penalty. We find that the fact regarding manufacture and clearance of dutiable as well as exempted goods and availment of credit on the entire input and input services commonly used for manufacture of dutiable and exempted goods is very well on record and known to the department. Accordingly, there is no suppression of fact on the part of the appellant. Hence, the entire demand is prima-facie time bar. However, the appellant have admittedly paid the amount of Rs. 60,15,116/- and they are only contesting the penalty. Taking into consideration, the entire facts and circumstances of the case we are of the view that though the demand is prima facie time bar but since the appellant have admittedly paid and not contesting such payment, the demand to the extent of Rs. 60,15,116/- is upheld and payment made thereof by the appellant is maintained. However, the appellant is not liable for any penalty. Accordingly, the penalty is set aside. Needless to say that since the appellant have paid the amount of 60,15,116/- which is proportionate Cenvat credit attributed to the exempted goods belatedly, they are liable to pay the interest till the date of reversal. Therefore the impugned order is modified to the above extent.

5. Accordingly, the appeals are partly allowed in the above terms.

(Pronounced in the open court on 08.02.2024)

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