M/s Escorts Limited Vs CST (CESTAT Delhi)
It is not in dispute that the appellant is in possession of permit to operate ‘Non-scheduled Air Transport Services and have been permitted to use Bell-407 helicopter with the sitting capacity of six persons. The permit further stipulate that it is for passenger services and has been renewed from time to time. As per the practice adopted by the appellant, the aircraft is made available under charter hire as per the terms and conditions attached to the invoice issued in favour of the organisation hiring the aircraft. We have perused Invoice No. 14:09:10 dated 18.12.2009 which is issued in favour of M/s Aviation Services India, New Delhi. As per the said invoice the helicopter has been chartered for the period 06.12.2009 to 17.12.2009 for flying time of 32:05 hrs. for use in Delhi-Ranchi and local flying in Jharkhand – Ranchi – Delhi. From the above invoice it is evident that the entire helicopter has been given on hire for the use of charterer. It is evident from the other terms and conditions that the same is supplied alongwith licenced/ trained pilot and necessary engineering crew to operate the helicopter. It is noteworthy that individual seat is not offered by the appellant but the complete Further, the aircraft has been allowed to be used by the charterer but the effective control and possession remains with the appellant. The appellant will charge the charterer on the basis of the actual time consumed on engine on to engine off.
We note that an identical issue regarding charter hire of helicopter came up before the Tribunal in the case of Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd. vs. CC (Import) Mumbai -2016 (42)STR 118 (Tri. Mum.), in that case the appellant therein claimed the classification of their service as Transportation of Passengers by Air Service. But, the Tribunal after very detailed discussion of the facts and various case law on the subject as well as CBEC Circular No. 20/2009 dt. 09.02.2009 came to the conclusion that the services will be rightly classifiable under the category of “Supply to Tangible Goods Service”.
FULL TEXT OF THE CESTAT JUDGMENT
The present appeal is directed against the Order-in-Appeal No. 60/ST/Appeal/DLH-IV/2013 dated 16.08.2013 passed by the Commissioner (Appeals), Central Excise, Delhi-IV.
2. The appellant holds a permit issued by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), New Delhi permitting them to operate ‘Non-Scheduled Air Transport (passenger/cargo/charter)’. They used their helicopter of type Bell-407 having a sitting capacity of 6 passengers. The helicopter belonging to them were made available to various entities for their use as per the terms and conditions of the agreement between them. While providing the said helicopter on charter hire, the appellant supplied their own crew i.e. Pilot and other flight staff. The maintenance and upkeep of the aircraft was the responsibility of the appellant. For these services, the appellant received certain amounts as per the terms and conditions entered into with the chartering parties. The agreement included the route, and the estimated flying cost which was determined on the basis of the flying time. There were other components of the charge such as landing charges, parking charges etc. No tickets were issued for such journey. The Department was of the view that the activity carried out by the appellant was liable to service tax under the category of “Supply of Tangible Goods Service” (STGS) taxable under Section 65(105)(zzzzj) of the Finance Act, 1994. The impugned order decided two show cause notices. First show cause notice dated 21.03.2011 covering the period May, 2008 to March, 2010 and second show cause notice dated 24.04.2012 covering the period April, 2010 to March, 2011. The claim of the appellant before the lower authorities was that the activity will be liable to service tax only under the category of ‘Transportation of Passenger by Air’ within India under Section 65(105)(zzzo), which became liable for payment of service tax for journey within India only w.e.f. 01.07.2010. From such date the appellant has also discharged service tax under the said category. The concurrent finding of both the authorities below is that the activity will be liable to service tax only under the category of STGS. Accordingly, the service tax demands raised under both the show cause notices were confirmed alongwith interest and penalties. Aggrieved by the decision, the present appeal has been filed.
3. With the above background, we heard Sh. Akhil Gupta, ld. Advocate for the appellant as well as Sh. G. R. Singh, ld. AR for the revenue.
4. The arguments of the Ld. Advocate are summarised below:
i) The services of the appellant are confined only to transport of passengers by air and nowhere extend to supplying the aircraft for use by the passengers at their disposal. Therefore, services of the appellant are classifiable under ‘Transport of Passenger by Air Service’ for non-scheduled flights;
ii) Even DGCA regards and considers services of the appellant as ‘non-scheduled air transport (passenger)’services and not as ‘non-scheduled air transport (charter)’ Being the regulatory authority, determination of DGCA should be considered.
iii) ‘Transport of Passenger by Air Service’ is a specific entry for taxing non-scheduled flight operations and should be preferred over a general entry of ‘Supply of Tangible Goods’;
iv) Extended period of limitation should not be invoked considering that the issue involved is related to classification. Moreover, SCNs were issued after substantial lapse of time though nature of services were known to the Revenue Department.
4.1 In this connection, he also relied on the following case laws:
i) Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd. vs. CC (Import) Mumbai 2015 (6) TMI 151 (CESTAT Mum.)
ii) CCE, Chandigarh vs. Kuldeep Singh Gill 2010 (18) STR 708 (P&H)
iii) Punjab Technical University vs. CCE&ST, Ludhiana 2016 (42) STR 474 (Tri. Del.)
iv) CCE&ST vs. Triveni Engg. & Ind. Ltd. 2015 (317) ELT 408 (All)
He also pointed out that the extended period of limitation has been invoked in the show cause notice dated 21.03.2011. However, the second show cause notice dated 24.04.2012 has also covered the demand covering a period more than one year (i.e. beyond the normal time limit).
5. Ld. AR appearing for the Revenue justified the impugned order. He submitted that the appellant has given their helicopter to their client on charter hire. Further, the helicopter was required to be kept in readiness and maintenance only by the appellant. Further, the amount charged is not on the basis of per passenger and no tickets are issued. Agreement clearly shows that the activity is for leading of helicopter and not for ‘Non-scheduled Air Transportation’. He also relied on the following case laws:
i) Hari Singh vs. State of Haryana -1993 (66) ELT 23 (SC)
ii) Global Vectra Helicop Ltd. vs. CST, Mumbai-II 2016 (42) STR 118 (Tri. Mumbai).
iii) CCE, Visakhapatnam vs.Mehta & Co.-201 1 (264) ELT 481 (SC)
(iv) Mathania Fabrics vs. CCE, Jaipur-2008 (221) ELT 481 (SC)
5.1 After hearing both sides and on perusal of record, we find that the dispute is whether the activity carried out by the appellant will fall under the category of STGS under Section 65(105)(zzzzj) or under Section 65(1 05)(zzzo) under the category of ‘Transportation of Passengers by Air’ within India. The appellants’ contention is that the activity will be covered under the latter and accordingly they have commenced payment of service tax w.e.f. 01 .07.2010 under the latter category. The concurrent finding of both the authorities below is that the appellant is liable only under the former category.
6. It is not in dispute that the appellant is in possession of permit to operate ‘Non-scheduled Air Transport Services” and have been permitted to use Bell-407 helicopter with the sitting capacity of six persons. The permit further stipulate that it is for passenger services and has been renewed from time to time. As per the practice adopted by the appellant, the aircraft is made available under charter hire as per the terms and conditions attached to the invoice issued in favour of the organisation hiring the aircraft. We have perused Invoice No. 14:09:10 dated 18.12.2009 which is issued in favour of M/s Aviation Services India, New Delhi. As per the said invoice the helicopter has been chartered for the period 06.12.2009 to 17.12.2009 for flying time of 32:05 hrs. for use in Delhi-Ranchi and local flying in Jharkhand – Ranchi – Delhi. From the above invoice it is evident that the entire helicopter has been given on hire for the use of charterer. It is evident from the other terms and conditions that the same is supplied alongwith licenced/ trained pilot and necessary engineering crew to operate the helicopter. It is noteworthy that individual seat is not offered by the appellant but the complete Further, the aircraft has been allowed to be used by the charterer but the effective control and possession remains with the appellant. The appellant will charge the charterer on the basis of the actual time consumed on engine on to engine off.
7. We note that an identical issue regarding charter hire of helicopter came up before the Tribunal in the case of Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd. vs. CC (Import) Mumbai -2016 (42)STR 118 (Tri. Mum.), in that case the appellant therein claimed the classification of their service as Transportation of Passengers by Air Service. But, the Tribunal after very detailed discussion of the facts and various case law on the subject as well as CBEC Circular No. 20/2009 dt. 09.02.2009 came to the conclusion that the services will be rightly classifiable under the category of “Supply to Tangible Goods Service”. The observations of the Tribunal is reproduced below:
“6. We have carefully considered the submissions made by both the sides. We have also perused the contracts/agreements entered into by the appellants in respect of the transaction which is under dispute.
6.1 From the preamble of the contract entered into by the appellant with M/s. ONGC, it is seen that ONGC was interested in charter hiring of helicopters for offshore operations being carried out by them and the appellant agreed to provide the required services against the Corporation’s order in this regard. As per clause 3 of the agreement the appellant undertook to deliver/mobilize the helicopters at charterer’s helibase in Mumbai or at other bases in India as may be designated by the charterer in fully operational condition for the charter service. In clause 4 relating to service, it was provided that the appellant shall ensure that the helicopters are available and fully operational for the exclusive use of the charterer and the persons authorized by the charterer and the daily flight schedule was to be provided by the charterer. The contract also envisaged that the appellant shall provide experienced IFR licensed aircrews for the operation and qualified maintenance crews for servicing of the helicopters as per the prescribed standards. Passengers and/or cargo as required by the charterer was to be carried in the helicopter. All necessary clearances, permission to hold helicopter licence to operate the helicopter, compliance with all laws, rules, regulations, orders, standards and schedules as specified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation was to be complied with by the appellant, who is the service provider. The appellant was also obligated to provide to the charterer, the helicopters daily in airworthy condition regularly on all 365 days of the year. For the services rendered the appellants were eligible for remuneration on a fixed monthly charge basis for thirty six months plus flying hourly charges. The helicopters were to be operated upon by the crew provided by the appellant and such crew have complete control over the actual flying operations. The agreement with Trans Ocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc. was also for providing charter service to the company by the appellant. The said agreement also envisaged operation of the aircraft for the transportation of the passengers and passenger baggage as per the instructions and requirements of the client, the crew was to be provided by the appellant and all approvals, licences, permits was the responsibility of the appellant. For the services rendered consideration was paid to the appellant in terms of the said agreement. In both these agreements the liability to pay taxes and dues was on the appellant and also the liability to insure the goods. From the tenor of the agreement and the terms and conditions provided therein, especially those specified in clauses – 1.11 relating to “equipment/materials/goods, 1.14 relating to mobilization, 3 relating to delivery, 4 relating to services, 6 relating to availability, maintenance and if relating to safety, etc. – it is seen that the appellant was engaged in charter-hiring of helicopters to the clients for a consideration. The possession and control of the helicopters remained with the appellants.
6.2 Section 65(105)(zzzj) defines supply of tangible goods for use service as “any service rendered to any person by any other person in relation to supply of tangible goods including machinery, equipment and appliances for use, without transferring the right of possession and effective control of such machinery, equipment or appliances.” There is no dispute that helicopters were mobilized/delivered by the appellant to their clients without transferring the right of possession and effective control for use by the clients. Therefore, the services rendered by the appellant to their clients in respect of charter-hire of helicopters would come under the purview of supply of tangible goods for use as defined in Section 65(105)(zzzj) of the Finance Act, 1994.
6.3 The Hon ’ble Apex Court in the case of Super Poly Fabriks Ltd. v. Commissioner – [2008 (10) S.T.R. 545 (S.C.)], laid down the principle of how to read an agreement or contract as under :-
“There cannot be any doubt whatsoever that a document has to be read as a whole. The purport and object with which the parties thereto entered into a contract ought to be ascertained only from the terms and conditions thereof. Neither the nomenclature of the document nor any particular activity undertaken by the parties to the contract would be decisive.”
If this principle is applied in reading the contracts entered into by the appellant with their clients, it is seen that the contract is for charter-hiring of the helicopters and not for flying of passengers/cargo.
6.4 The Hon ’ble High Court of Bombay, in a case of charter hiring of vessel for offshore oil operations, considered an identical issue in Indian National Shipowners Association v. UOI. The question before the Hon ’ble High Court was whether the transaction involved in charter hiring of vessels for offshore explorations, is liable to tax under “mining services” or under “supply of tangible goods for use service.” Hon ’ble High Court in the said case held as follows:-
“37. Entry (zzzzj) is entirely a new entry. Whereas entry (zzzy) covers services provided to any person in relation to mining of mineral, oil or gas, services covered by entry (zzzzj) can be identified by the presence of two characteristics namely (a) supply of tangible goods including machinery, equipment and appliances for use, (b) there is no transfer of right of possession and effective control of such machinery, equipment and appliances. According to the members of the 1st petitioner, they supply offshore support vessels to carry out jobs like anchor handling, towing of vessels, supply to rig or platform, diving support, fire fighting etc. Their marine construction barges support offshore construction, provide accommodation, crane support and stoppage area on main deck or equipment. Their harbour tugs are deployed for piloting big vessels in and out of the harbour and for husbanding main fleet. They give vessels on time charter basis to oil and gas producers to carry out offshore exploration and production activities. The right of possession in and effective control of such machinery, equipment and appliances is not parted with. Therefore, those activities clearly fall in entry (zzzzj) and the services rendered by the members of the 1st petitioner have been specifically brought to the levy of Service Tax only upon the insertion of this new entry.
38. If the Department’s contention is accepted that would mean that the activities of the members of the 1st petitioner are covered by entry (zzzy) and entry (zzzzj). Such a result is difficult to comprehend because entry (zzzzj) is not a specie of what is covered by entry (zzzy). Introduction of new entry and inclusion of certain services in that entry would presuppose that there was no earlier entry covering the said services. Therefore, prior to introduction of entry (zzzzj), the services rendered by the members of the 1st petitioner were not taxable. Creation of new entry is not by way of amending the earlier entry. It is not a carve out of the earlier entry. Therefore, the services rendered by the members of the 1st petitioner cannot be brought to tax under that entry.
48. Applying the above conclusions to the instant case, we hold that the services rendered by the members of the 1st petitioner are either pre-mining or post-mining activities. They have no direct relation to mining. They were, therefore, rightly not brought to tax till entry (zzzzj) was introduced to cover transport of tangible goods by sea without transferring right of possession and effective control thereof. The services rendered by the members of the 1st petitioner are covered by entry (zzzzj) because they inter alia supply vessels, offshore support vessels, barges, tugs etc. without transferring right of possession and effective control over them. In contrast entry (zzzy) was introduced to comprehensively bring under the service tax net activities having a direct nexus to mining activities. Entry (zzzzj) is not a carve out of entry (zzzy). Both entries are independent. Entry (zzzzj) was not inserted into the Finance Act by amending entry (zzzy). It is not possible to invent a remote connection of the services rendered by the members of the 1st petitioner to mining activities and hold that they fall in entry (zzzy). Entry (zzzzj) is not a specie of what is covered by entry (zzzy). Nature of the services rendered by the members of the 1st petitioner, legislative history of the two entries, various circulars to which, we have made reference and the relevant judgments which we have noted herei nabove lead us to hold that the entry contained in Section 65(105)(zzzy) of the Finance Act, 1994 does not apply to services provided by the members of the 1st petitioner……..”
The ratio of the above decision applies equally well to the facts of the present case. The above decision of the Hon ’ble High Court was affirmed by the Hon ’ble Apex Court also. In that view, supply of helicopters on charter hire basis would merit classification under “supply of tangible goods for use service” and we hold accordingly.
6.5 The appellant’s contention that they have undertaken the services of transport of passengers by air and not supply of tangible goods for use is not borne out from the terms and conditions of the agreement entered into with the clients. It is the appellant’s contention that they have the licence to fly the aircraft and even “charter hiring of aircraft” is covered under aircraft services as defined in Civil Aviation Rules and therefore, it should be treated that the appellant has undertaken non-scheduled air transport services for their clients and not as supply of tangible goods for use. To be eligible for classification under air transportation of passengers service, the service has to be rendered to a passenger. An identical issue came up for consideration before this Tribunal in the case of King Rotors & Air Charter Pvt. Ltd. v. CC (ACC & Import), Mumbai – 2011 (269) E.L.T. 343 (Tri.-Mum.) in the context of Notification No. 21/2002-Cus. The issue before this Tribunal was whether the charter hire services rendered by the appellant therein would amount to non-scheduled passenger services as defined in Rule 3 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937. After considering the rival submissions, this Tribunal, in the said case held as follows :-
“24.6 The question now to be considered is whether the assessee used the imported helicopter for the avowed purpose. It is not in dispute that, under a “charter-hire agreement” dated 14-4- 2008 with Heligo, the assessee allowed the helicopter to be used by Heligo for the purpose of mobilizing and demobilizing of personnel of third party companies and for movement of their freight and/or equipment. Under the agreement, Heligo would reimburse the actual costs incurred by the assessee in sourcing and acquiring spares for maintenance of the helicopter. The necessary infrastructure for maintenance of the helicopter would also be provided by Heligo. The entire cost of insurance to cover all liabilities in respect of passengers, cargo, crew, helicopter and third party would be incurred by the assessee and reimbursed to them by Heligo. Heligo would also pay monthly remuneration to the pilots of the assessee. They would also bear the costs of maintenance of the helicopter and also the costs of fuel and consumables required for its operation. On a perusal of the charter-hire agreement between the assessee and Heligo, we find that Heligo chartered/hired the helicopter for their exclusive use and they incurred the entire costs of operation and maintenance of the helicopter and even the cost of insurance to cover all liabilities. One significant term of the contract was that the “helicopter shall be utilized solely for the purpose of providing the services pursuant to the agreement and the contractor shall not utilize the helicopter for any other purpose without the prior consent of the company.” Accordingly, the helicopter could not be used by the assessee (contractor) for any other purpose without the prior consent of Heligo (company). It is evident that the agreement created an exclusive right in Heligo for use of the helicopter during its tenure. That Heligo exercised this right for the benefit of third party companies is, in turn, evident from the written submissions dated 23-3-2011 filed by the appellants’ advocates, which read thus : “………even Heligo Charters Pvt. Ltd., in turn, charter the aircraft ……………. The aircraft is chartered by many offshore and oil companies to ferry their personnel ………… the aircraft has been used by independent third party offshore oil extraction/drilling companies ………………. The flights undertaken by aircraft are commercial, revenue flights paid for by third party offshore companies.” Obviously the end-users of the helicopter are the so-called third party companies which cannot be called “members of the public”. Popular dictionaries of English provide the following meaning of ‘public’ or ‘the public’, as the case may be :-
public = the community or people in general
[Collins Dictionary of the English Language] public = the people as a whole, community at large
[New World Dictionary of the American Language] public = people collectively
[The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary] public = ordinary people in general; the community [Concise Oxford English Dictionary – Indian Edition] the public = ordinary people in society in general;
[Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English, 7th Edition]
Members of the public are natural persons and cannot be juristic persons like the third party companies which chartered the aircraft from Heligo.
24.7 ”Non-scheduled passenger services” has been defined in clause (b) of Explanation to condition No. 104 and the same means “air transport services other than scheduled (passenger) air transport services as defined in Rule 3 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937.” [Incidentally, we note that the expression “non-scheduled air transport services (passenger)” is defined in the same way in clause (2) of “Passenger CAR”] “Scheduled air transport service” has been defined under Rule 3(49) of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 and the same reads as under :-
“Scheduled air transport service” means air transport service undertaken between the same two or more places and operated according to a published time table or with flights so regular or frequent that they constitute a recognisably systematic series, each flight being open to use by members of the public, ”[underlining added]
The learned counsel for the appellants has argued that two distinct requirements have to be satisfied by an air transport service to be called “scheduled air transport service”. According to him, the two essential requirements are the following : (a) there must be regular or frequent flights or flights operated according to a published time table between the same two or more places; (b) each flight must be open to members of the public. The learned counsel has argued that any air transport service that does not meet the above two requirements will be a non-scheduled (passenger) service. On this basis, it has been claimed that the assessee was providing “non-scheduled (passenger) service” under the permit granted by DGCA and was thereby complying with condition No. 104. This argument is fraught with analytical error. Any such dissection of the definition of “scheduled air transport service” as attempted by the counsel is not warranted to obtain the meaning of “non-scheduled air transport service”. This is because requirement (b) mentioned by him is not determinative of whether the air transport service is “scheduled” or “non-scheduled”. To our mind, the only difference between the two types of air transport service lies in the simple fact that one is “scheduled” while the other is “non-scheduled”, which would mean that “scheduled” air transport services involve flight services operated on the basis of a schedule of time whereas “non-scheduled” air transport services are without any time schedule for the flights. [This view is fortified by clause (9.2) of “Passenger CAR”, which deals with non-scheduled operators and their operations and says: In such operations, the operators shall not publish their time schedules as the operations are of non-scheduled nature.] Other features are common for both scheduled and non-scheduled services. It would follow that, like scheduled air transport service (passenger), non-scheduled air transport service (passenger) also should be open to use by members of the public. As the flight operations in this case were not open to the public, the helicopter cannot be held to have been used for “non-scheduled (passenger) services.”
24.8 As condition No. 104 itself refers to Rule 3 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 in the context of defining the expression “non-scheduled (passenger) services”, it is permissible to take aid of the said Rule in ascertaining the connotation of the word “passenger” used in the expression “non-scheduled (passenger) services”. Rule 3(39) defines “passenger aircraft” as aircraft which effects public transport of passengers. “Public transport” is also seen defined under Rule 3(45). In the instant case, it is not the claim of the appellants that they used the helicopter for public transport of passengers. They only allowed Heligo to hire the aircraft for a remuneration and use it for transporting employees of Oil & Gas/allied companies between Vishakapatnam airport and offshore oil/gas fields under contracts awarded to Heligo by those companies. The appellants were unable to use the copter (during the tenure of the agreement) for any other purpose without the prior consent of Heligo. They did not have any control over the manner in which the helicopter was used by Heligo (who professedly entered into charter contracts with “third party companies” in respect of the aircraft which was accordingly used for transporting the personnel of these companies) and the copter operations were not open to members of the public. Where the helicopter would not come within the meaning of “passenger aircraft”, the flight operations cannot be called “non-scheduled (passenger) services”.
The ratio of the above decision would apply squarely to the facts of the case before us. As can be seen, the service provided by the appellant cannot be covered by transport of passengers by air service since in that case, the definition specifically provides that the service is in relation to scheduled or unscheduled air transport of passengers. The thrust in the definition is on transport of passengers. In the case of the appellant, the service is provided to various companies, who chartered the aircraft for specific time or for specific journey. The payment is not based on number of passengers. No tickets are issued to the passengers and no charges are collected from the passengers. Therefore, the service provided cannot be considered as transport of passengers, but has to be considered as charter of aircraft. There is no doubt that the right of possession and effective control while in use by the charterer is not parted with. Thus the charter hire of helicopters to ONGC and other clients for flight operations as per their requirements cannot be said to be “non-scheduled (passenger) services.” Therefore, we reject the contention of the appellant in this regard. Consequently, we hold that the services rendered by the appellant in the instant case cannot be treated as air transport services for the transport of passengers.
6.6 The C.B.E. & C. had also occasion to examine the issue and vide Circular No. 20/COMMR.(S.T.)/2009, dated 9-2-2009 the Board clarified, inter alia, as follows :
“It has been brought to the notice of the Board that many non-scheduled operator engaged in the business of giving the right to use the aircraft to its customers (Chartering of Aircrafts) are not paying service tax.
The issue has been examined in the Board. With effect from 16-5-2008, service provided to any person by any other person in relation to supply of tangible goods including machinery, equipment and appliances for use, without transferring right of possession and effective control of such machinery, equipment and appliances is taxable service under section 65(105)(zzzj). Chartering of aircrafts by a client only confers him with the right to use the aircraft and the owner of the aircraft in such case does not transfer right of possession. As to whether effective control over the aircraft is transferred or not would be a question of fact to be determined in each case. Where the crew is also provided by the owners of the ai rcr afts and in a wet lease of aircraft effective control is not transferred.”
Thus as per the C.B.E. & C. Circular also, the services of charter hire of helicopters merits classification under supply of tangible goods for use services.”
Similar views have been expressed by the Tribunal in the case of M/s Mesco Airlines Ltd. vs. CST, New Delhi (F. O. No. 51387/2018 dt. 18.04.201 8).
8. By following the decision of the Tribunal (supra), we order classification of the service under the category of STGS. Consequently, we uphold the confirmation of demand of service tax on merit.
9. The appellant has assailed the impugned order on the ground of It is seen from the record that the show cause notice dated 21 .03.2011 has invoked the longer time limit under Section 73 for raising the demand for the period May, 2008 to March, 2010. The justification for invoking the extended time limit has been discussed at length by the original authority in para 5.3. The appellate authority has also given findings upholding the view of the original authority in para No. 10 of the impugned order. We approve such findings and uphold the view that the show cause notice dated 21.03.2011 has rightly invoked the extended period of limitation for raising service tax demand.
10. The second show cause notice dated 24.04.2012 has been issued for demand of Service Tax only within the normal time limit. But the normal time limit at the relevant time (upto 28.05.2012) was one year. Hence, demand falling beyond one year period for show cause notice dated 24.04.2012, cannot be sustained and is set aside.
11. We have also perused various case laws citied by both sides. As discussed above we have come to the above conclusion by following the decision of the Tribun al in the case of Global Vectra Helicorp. as also in the case of Mesco Airlines which are on identical facts. The decision of Global Vectra Helicorp (supra) cited by the appellant deals with a different issue in the context of import of helicopter and in our view is not relevant for the present dispute. The other case laws cited are dealing with rent a cab service and is not relevant to the present case at all. In terms of discussions as above and by following the decisions of the Tribunal on identical facts, we order classification to service under the category of STGS and uphold the findings of the lower authority but restricting demand to one year for show cause notice dated 24.04.2012.
12. In the result, appeal is disposed of as above.
(Pronounced on 20.07.2018).