1. Pursuant to the order dated 28th August 2017, Mr. Harpreet Singh, the learned counsel for the Respondents, states, on instructions, that as far as the period from 1st April 2016 to 5th June 2016 is concerned, the Respondents would still insist on collecting service tax from Senior Advocates on forward charge basis.
2. Counsel for the Petitioner points out that this Court, on 1st April 2016, passed an interim order whereby the impugned notifications were stayed but the Respondents were permitted to continue collecting service tax on reverse charge basis in respect of the fees payable to the Senior Advocates under the Notification No. 30/2012- ST dated 20th June 2012.
3. In that view of the matter, since the above interim order became effective with effect from 1st April 2016 itself and is applicable to all Senior Advocates, the question of the Department now raising any demand for the period 1st April 2016 to 5th June 2016 does not arise. There is no prejudice caused to the Department for the simple reason that the service tax from 1st April 2016 itself ought to have been collected on reverse charge basis. If any client who has paid the fees of the Senior Advocate, has failed to make payment of the corresponding service tax on reverse charge basis, it would be open to the Department to proceed against such client to recover the service tax in accordance with law.
4. The Court clarifies that the interim order dated 1st April 2016 is made absolute and will preclude the Respondents from hereafter raising any demand of service tax on a Senior Advocate in respect of the fees paid to such Senior Advocate for the period 1st April 2016 to 5th June 2016.
5. The writ petitions and the applications are accordingly disposed of.