The Bombay High Court has granted an interim stay on collection of Service Tax levied on buildings under construction, following a writ petition filed by the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI). Mr. Sunil Mantri, President, MCHI, said the chamber had urged the High Court to restrain the respondents (Union Government and others) from taking steps against the members of the Chamber in respect of transactions for construction, development, and sale of immovable property under the various provisions of the Finance Act, 1994 and a new entry as amended by the Finance Act of 2010 in any manner, besides challenging the constitutional validity of the amendment.
According to Mr Mantri, the court had said, “No coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioner for the recovery of Service Tax in relation to the provisions in question, but it is clarified that assessment may proceed in accordance with law.”
This is an interim order and the hearing has been posted to August 3, 2010.
The text of the decision is reproduced below:
IN THE HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Writ Petition No. 1456 of 2010
MAHARASHTRA CHAMBER OF HOUSING INDUSTRY
UNION OF INDIA
V C Daga And S J Kathawalla JJ.,
Dated: July 23, 2010
Appellant rep by: Mr.Rafique Dada, Senior Advocate i/b. Parimal Shroff & Co
Respondent rep by: Mr.R.V.Desai, Senior Advocate with Mr.R.B.Pardeshi
Service Tax – Construction Service – Constitutional Validity of Finance Act 2010 Amendment challenged – No coercive steps till next hearing: Notice issued to Attorney General of India
2. Arguable questions are raised in the petition with regard to the constitutional validity of Section 65(30a) read with Section 65(105)(zzp) and Section 65(105)(zzzh) read with Section 66 of the Finance Act,1994, as amended by the Finance Act, 2010 which needs consideration.
4. Since the constitutional validity of the aforesaid provisions has been challenged, issue notice to the Attorney General of India along with respondent Nos.2 & 3, returnable on 3rd August,2010. In the meantime, until next date of hearing , no coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioners for the recovery of service tax in relation to the provisions in question, but it is clarified that assessments may proceed in accordance with law.
5. Mr.R.V. Desai, Learned Senior Counsel waives service on behalf of respondent Nos.4 to 6.
5. To be heard along with Writ Petition (L) No.1476 of 2010. Stand over to 3rd August, 2010.