CESTAT, MUMBAI BENCH
Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.
Commissioner of Service Tax, Mumbai-I
ORDER NO. S/871/2012/CSTB/C-I
APPLICATION NO. ST/STAY/201 OF 2012
APPEAL NO. ST/52 OF 2012
MAY 28, 2012
Ashok Jindal, Judicial Member
A service tax demand of Rs. 2,64,50,602/- has been confirmed for the period June 2008 to April 2010 under the category of sponsorship service provided by the applicants for the services availed by the applicant for the period under reverse charge mechanism.
2. The facts of the case are that the applicants entered with an agreement with Board of Control for Cricket in India for organising the IPL tournament wherein the applicants are the sponsors for Umpire under a ‘Sponsor Agreement’. As per the agreement, Umpires in the tournament shall wear logo of the applicant on their dresses and there shall be display on the screen when the decision in the fame is referred to the third umpire for decision. The department is of the view that the said activity is covered under ‘Sponsoring Service’, therefore a show-cause notice was adjudicated and converted into the impugned order.
3. Shri Sunil Agarwal, ld. Advocate on behalf of the applicant appeared and submitted that as per Section 65(105)(zzzn) the activity undertaken by the applicant is a sponsorship activity but same is specifically exempt if same is undertaken in relation to sponsorship of the sports events. The above said activity came into taxable event with effect from 1.7.2010 when an exemption for sponsorship of sports event has been withdrawn. Therefore, they are not liable to pay service tax for the impugned period as the same is prior to 1.7.2010.
4. To support his contention he placed reliance on the decision of the Tribunal in DLF Ltd. v. CST  35 STT 55, wherein a similar issue came before the Tribunal and Tribunal granted unconditional waiver of pre-deposit.
5. Heard the ld. Counsel and perused the records.
6. The core issue in this case is that whether during the impugned period the activity undertaken by the applicant was covered under the definition of taxable service as per Section 65(105) (zzzn) or not. Although the activity is proved to be ‘sponsored of the event service’ but during the relevant time the ‘sponsorship of the sports event’ was fully exempt from service tax. As observed by the Tribunal in the case of DLF Ltd. (supra) that the IPL 20-20 tournament is a sports event, we are of the view that the applicants are exempt from the levy of service tax as per Section 65(105)(zzzn) of the Finance Act, 1004. Following the said decision, the applicant has made out a case for 100% waiver of pre-deposit. Accordingly, we do so and waive the requirement of pre-deposit of entire amount of service tax, interest and penalty and stay recovery, thereof during the pendency of the appeal.