Case Law Details

Case Name : K. Madhav Kamath Brother & Co. Vs Asst. Comm. of Central Excise (Karnataka High Court)
Appeal Number : C.E.A no. 201 of 2013
Date of Judgement/Order : 17/12/2014
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (6000) Karnataka High Court (304)
CA Sumit Grover

Recently, Hon’ble Karnataka High Court in the matter of K. Madhav Kamath Brother & Co. v. Asst. Comm. of Central Excise, pronounced that even if service tax is paid prior to Show Cause Notice, still the penalty shall be leviable u/s 76/78, 77 of Finance Act’94.

Brief facts of the case:

The matter pertains to the period Jan’06 to Oct’06. The department issued SCN for non-filing of return& non-payment of service tax along with the levy of penalty on the same(within the SCN itself) u/s 76/78 & 77 of Finance Act’94

However, the assessee deposited the  service tax liability before issuance of SCN.

The assessee contended that since there wasn’t any intention to evade service tax, and non-filing of returns/non-payment of tax was merely bonafide mistake, hence penalty couldn’t be levied.

On appeal being filed before CESTAT-Bnglr,the tribunal rejected the plea of assessee and upheld the levy of penalty. Subsequently, appeal was filed before High Court.

The High Court also held that even if service tax is paid prior to issuance of SCN, it doesn’t preclude from levy of penalty u/s 76/78 & 77 of ibid.

Comment :

The aforesaid judicial pronouncement pertains to Jan’06 to Oct’06, however, from 8th May’10, explanation 2 to section 73(3) was inserted to grant relief from penalty, but that too in case both(i.e. service tax as well as interest) were paid before issuance of SCN.

Therefore, it would be interesting to see if department can take advantage of the the said judgement for levying penalty in cases post May’10 wherein service tax was paid before issuance of SCN but interest wasn’t deposited?


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  1. adv. dr.g.balakrishnan says:

    it is already settled law any genuine error takes place, revenue cannot go ahead with penalty, if the sections say penalty is to be paid such sections deserve to be delivered by courts of competent jurisdiction under doctrine of severability, so the appellant can move honorable SC for necessary relief, even hon SC granted reief to PwC matter in satyam computers matter,the CAs made genuine errors that way hon SC gave relief is a world known fact!

    i commend Appellant can move hon SC for relief under Art 32 civil writ instead of SLP under Art 136

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