In M/s. Astrazeneca India Pvt. Ltd. v. Commissioner Of Central Tax, Bangalore North [Service Tax Appeal No. 20147 of 2021 dated August 16, 2021], M/s. Astrazeneca India Pvt. Ltd. (the Appellant) has filed the current appeal against Order-in-Appeal No. 103/2020-21-CT dated December 08, 2020 (OIA) wherein the Commissioner of Central Tax (Appeals) (Commissioner (Appeals)) has rejected the refund claim on grounds of limitation under Section 11B of the Central Excise Act, 1944 (the CE Act).

The Appellant’s refund application under Rule 5 of the Central Value Added Tax Credit Rules, 2004 (“CENVAT Credit Rules”) to the tune of Rs. 3,85,681 was allowed and  rest denied in Order-In-Original dated July 07, 2008 (“OIO”). In the OIA, the claim was partially allowed on the refund claims of credit availed on “Security Services” and “Clearing and Forwarding Charges” with the remaining being rejected.

Wood alphabet in word refund on artificial green grass background

Thereafter, the Hon’ble CESTAT, Bangalore vide Final Order No.21260/2016 dated July 16, 2014 allowed the appeal and set aside the order rejecting the refund claim. The decision of the Tribunal was not challenged by the Department, and it attained finality. After three months of the decision of the Tribunal, the appellant filed a letter dated February 21, 2017 requesting the department to grant refund as per the order of CESTAT but instead of granting the refund, the Assistant Commissioner asked the appellant to file a fresh refund application.

The Hon’ble CESTAT, Bangalore observed that such an action on the side of the department was not required because “it is a settled law that application for refund need not be made at every stage of adjudication process of an original refund claim.”

Further relied on the case of BASF India Ltd. vs. CCE, Bangalore 2021 TIOL 172 and noted there is no provision in the CENVAT Credit Rules for filing subsequent applications. Along with that, as per Section 11B (2) of the CE Act, the relevant date applies to only the first application of refund.

Held that the department has committed an error to reject the CENVAT Credit and there lies no power or jurisdiction with the lower authority to re-adjudicate the matter again. Refund Claims of the Appellant thereby allowed.

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