Panthal and shamiana services are utilized by the appellant to inform the public that a new branch has been started in the said place. Such services would help the appellant to attract customers and also inform the public about the new branch inaugurated. For these reason, I find that the disallowance of CENVAT credit on such input services cannot be justified. The credit availed by the appellant on panthal and shamiana services is therefore allowed.
FULL TEXT OF THE CESTAT JUDGMENT
The above application for restoration of appeal has been filed by the appellant seeking to restore the appeal that was disposed by Final Order No. 40740/2016 dated 5.5.2016.
2. On behalf of the appellant, ld. counsel shri J. Shankarraman submitted that on 5.5.2016, the appellant or the counsel could not appear before the Tribunal. They had filed an application for adjournment of the appeal by speed post. It was served on the Registry of the Tribunal on 5.5.2016. He has produced the proof of delivery as well as copy of the adjournment letter along with the restoration application. He submitted that though the appellant had requested for adjournment, the Tribunal had not considered the same and therefore the appeal had been decided exparte without considering their contentions. He submitted that the appellants have a good case on merits and therefore the appeal may be restored. He relied upon the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of J.K. Synthetics Ltd. Vs. Collector of Central Excise – 1996 (86) ELT 472 (SC).
3. The ld. AR Shri R. Subramaniam opposed the application. He submitted that the appeal having been disposed on merits, the restoration application cannot be allowed.
4. Heard both sides.
5. First, I take up with regard to the restoration of the appeal. The ld. counsel has produced the proof of delivery as well as the copy of adjournment letter to support his claim that they had made a request for adjournment of the appeal, which was posted on 5.5.2016. However, the Tribunal has taken the matter for disposal and passed the exparte order. Since the appellant had diligently prosecuted the matter and had taken steps to request for adjournment of the matter, I am of the view that the final order passed disposing the appeal exparte requires to be recalled. So ordered.
6. Both sides were heard on merits of the appeal also. The ld. counsel Shri J. Shankarraman submitted that the issue is with regard to disallowance of CENVAT credit on panthal and shamiana services. The appellant is engaged in banking and financial services. The input services of panthal and shamiana service was availed by the appellant on the eve of inauguration of their new building / branch. Therefore the service was essential for providing the banking and financial services. The AR submitted that there is no nexus between the input services and the output services of banking and financial services and therefore the authorities below have rightly disallowed the credit.
7. After considering the submissions made by both sides as well as perusal of records, I am convinced that panthal and shamiana services availed by the appellant is essential for promotion of banking and financial services. The said services are utilized by the appellant to inform the public that a new branch has been started in the said place. Such services would help the appellant to attract customers and also inform the public about the new branch inaugurated. For these reason, I find that the disallowance of CENVAT credit on such input services cannot be justified. The credit availed by the appellant on panthal and shamiana services is therefore allowed. The impugned order is set aside and the appeal is allowed with consequential relief, if any.
(Dictated and pronounced in open court)