Case Law Details

Case Name : Ramesh Electricals Vs Union of India (Karnataka High Court)
Appeal Number : W.P. No. 52986/2019
Date of Judgement/Order : 14/01/2020
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (5752) Karnataka High Court (285)

Ramesh Electricals Vs Union of India (Karnataka High Court)

Petitioners are invoking the writ jurisdiction of this Court, in substance for a direction to the respondents to permit them to avail the benefit in the ‘Arrears Category’ of SAB KA VISHWAS (LEGACY DISPUTE RESOLUTION) Scheme 2019.

The apprehension of the petitioners that their claim under Voluntary Disclosure Category is likely to be turned down because of some statutory block is taken care off by the statement of the learned Panel Counsel for the Revenue that the said apprehension is unwarranted & unfounded; such an assurance is given at paragraph of the Statement of Objections as well; this apart, he fairly submits that petitioners being eligible for availing the benefit under the Voluntary Disclosure Category, their application if they so desire will be considered under this Category regardless of certain columns in the e- Form/Application tending to the contrary.

FULL TEXT OF THE HIGH COURT ORDER / JUDGEMENT

In all these writ petitions, regardless of descriptive pleadings, the petitioners are invoking the writ jurisdiction of this Court, in substance for a direction to the respondents to permit them to avail the benefit in the “Arrears Category” of SAB KA VISHWAS (LEGACY DISPUTE RESOLUTION) Scheme 2019.

2. After service of notice, the respondents having entered appearance through their Sr. Panel counsel have filed the Statement of Objections resisting the writ petitions.

3. Having heard the learned counsel for the parties and having perused the petition papers, some reprieve needs to be granted to the petitioners for the following reasons:

(a) SAB KA VISHWAS (LEGACY DISPUTE RESOLUTION) Scheme 2019 is a statutory scheme; it provides for some relief to the Assesses in varying degrees depending upon the Categories into which they fit; there are four Categories envisaged by the Scheme and Arrears Category is one of them under which, petitioners are making the claim; the Circular dated 12.12.2019 vide paragraph (viii) reads as under:

“viii) There may be cases where the show cause notice were issued on or after 01.07.2019 and such cases are also not covered under any of the categories such as an enquiry or investigation or audit and tax dues having not been quantified on or before 30.06.2019. However, such cases become eligible under ‘arrears’ category depending the fulfillment of other conditions such appeal period being over or appeal having attained finality or the person giving an undertaking that he will not file any further appeal in the matter (Member’s D.O.letter F.No.267/78/19/CX.8 dated 30th October,2019). Since the main objective behind the Scheme is to liquidate the legacy cases under Central Excise and Service Tax, it would be desirable that the taxpayer in the above mentioned cases are also given an opportunity to avail its benefits. Therefore, the field formations were asked to take stock of such cases, and complete the on-going adjudication proceeding expeditiously following the due process. Further, it would also be desirable that the process of review is also carried out expeditiously in such cases so that the designated committees are able to determine the tax dues within the time stipulated under the Scheme.”

going by the provisions of the Scheme r/w above paragraph of the Circular, the claim of the petitioners does not merit consideration under the Arrears Category inasmuch as, their arrears of tax are yet to be assessed and the adjudication is still pending, as rightly contended by the learned counsel for the Revenue;

(b) there is force in the submission of the learned counsel for the petitioners that the Scheme in question being for the benefit of Assesses needs to be construed liberally to effectuate the purpose and therefore, if the petitioners’ claim cannot be considered under the Arrears Category, they should be permitted to avail the benefit under any other Category into which their case is fit; the respondents in their Statement of Objection dated 09.01.2020 at paragraph 6 have specifically stated that though the petitioners are not entitled to stake their claim under Arrears Category, they may opt for the benefit under Voluntary Disclosure Category; the statement of the learned Panel Counsel for the Revenue that petitioners’ claim would be considered under this Category if they opt, is placed on record;

(c) the apprehension of the petitioners that their claim under Voluntary Disclosure Category is likely to be turned down because of some statutory block is taken care off by the statement of the learned Panel Counsel for the Revenue that the said apprehension is unwarranted & unfounded; such an assurance is given at paragraph of the Statement of Objections as well; this apart, he fairly submits that petitioners being eligible for availing the benefit under the Voluntary Disclosure Category, their application if they so desire will be considered under this Category regardless of certain columns in the e- Form/Application tending to the contrary.

In the above circumstances, these writ petitions succeed in part; a Writ of Mandamus issues to the respondent – Revenue to consider petitioners claim for the benefit under Voluntary Disclosure Category of SAB KA VISHWAS (LEGACY DISPUTE RESOLUTION) Scheme 2019, subject to they making an appropriate application as prescribed by law and within time.

No precipitatory action shall be taken against the petitioners till after their claim is considered and the result thereof is informed.

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