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Case Law Details

Case Name : In re Tvl Tamilnadu Generation And Distribution Corporation Limited (GST AAAR Tamil Nadu)
Appeal Number : Order in Appeal No. AAAR/7/2024 (AR)
Date of Judgement/Order : 06/06/2024
Related Assessment Year :
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In re Tvl Tamilnadu Generation And Distribution Corporation Limited (GST AAAR Tamil Nadu)

AAAR find that as per the appellant’s argument, their application is liable to be admitted in as much as no case is pending before the Hon’ble Court in the name of the applicant on the issue in hand. In this context, AAAR find that the term ‘applicant’ is defined under Section 95(c) of the Act, which “means any person registered or desirous of obtaining registration under this Act”, which goes to prove that the definition of ‘applicant’ is not restricted to provisions related to Advance Ruling alone, and that the definition is meant to cater to the entire Act. Further, AAAR notice that English has two articles, the’ which is called definite article and ‘a/an’ which is indefinite article. While the article the’ is used to refer to specific or particular nouns, ca/an’ on the other hand is used to modify non-specific or non-particular nouns. The use of the article ‘an’ before the noun ‘applicant’ is meant to denote a non-specific noun, and in other words, the term “an applicant” has to mean any applicant and not a particular applicant. Thus, in the light of said definition, AAAR do not find force in the applicant’s argument inasmuch as the term “applicant” means any person registered under this Act and it could be best interpreted that the legislative intent in its wisdom is to draft the relevant proviso to empower the Authority to reject the application in the cases where there is repeated filing of the application before the Authority on the same issue which is either pending for decision or already decided. AAAR find that the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling, Uttarakhand vide Ruling No.02/2020-21 dated 11.11.2020, in relation to an appeal filed by M/s. Vardhan Holidays, Uttarakhand, has come up with a similar view, and while referring the matter back, has directed the lower authority to examine the referred cases on merits and pass a detailed speaking order, “if they are not sub-judice.”

Accordingly, AAAR notice that apart from the three services for which a speaking order has been pronounced in the Advance Ruling No.122/AAR/2023 dated 19.12.2023, the AAR ought to have not admitted the application fled by the appellant originally, in so far as it relates to the remaining services in question. In doing so, AAAR note that the AAR has erred in pronouncing a decision on the services in question, when the matter is sub-judice and pending decision by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. AAAR are of the opinion that the impugned ruling of the AAR is liable to be modified to that extent. In this regard, AAAR notice that AAAR are empowered to do so in terms of Section 101(1) of CGST Act, 2017, that reads as :-

“The Appellate Authority may, after giving the parties to the appeal or reference an opportunity of being heard, pass such order as it thinks fit, confirming or modifying the ruling appealed against or referred to.”.

AAAR notice that the appellant in their written submissions filed on 14.05.2024, have contended that regarding the 17 services discussed in para 5.6.3 of the ruling, the findings given are self-contradictory, as it has been stated that “These charges may have nexus with supply of electricity, but then they are not naturally bundled”, and accordingly prayed that the advance ruling, in so far as it relates to the above 17 activities concerned, may be set aside and the present appeal may be allowed, in view of the specific coverage of the issue under the Court rulings cited above. In this regard, AAAR observe that the AAR has rightly reasoned out while arriving at the decision, stating that the services mentioned therein can never be termed as ‘composite supply’, and that they are not naturally bundled with the principal supply, i.e., transmission/distribution of electricity, as the main supply may take place without the said ancillary charges. Notwithstanding the same, we notice from the ‘Grounds of Appeal’ filed by the Department, that the appeal is on both counts, i.e., services in relation to transmission and distribution of electricity, which are not covered under SI.No.25 of the exemption Notification No.12/2017-CT (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, and also in respect of the services that cannot be termed as ‘composite’ in nature to the principal supply of transmission and distribution of electricity as laid down in Section 8(a) of the CGST Act, 2017. For the sake of clarity, the operative portion of the judgment dated 19.12.2018 of the Hon’ble High Court is reproduced as below:-

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July 2024