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Autometer Alliance Ltd V/S Commissioner of C. Ex., Lucknow

    Final Order No. ST/A/71125/2017-CU (DB) in Appeal No. ST/52608/2014-CU(DB)

    Decided On, 30 August 2017

    At, Customs Excise Service Tax Appellate Tribunal Regional Bench Allahabad

    By, THE HONORABLE JUSTICE: ANIL CHOUDHARY
    By, MEMBER AND THE HONORABLE JUSTICE: ANIL G. SHAKKARWAR
    By, MEMBER

    For Petitioner: Rajesh Kumar Chhibbar, Advocate And For Respondents: Rajeev Ranjan, Joint Commissioner (AR)



Judgment Text


1. The issue in this appeal is, whether the appellant is required to pay Service Tax on the activity of management, repair and maintenance as defined under Section 65(105)(zzg) of the Finance Act, 1994 for providing services to the railways. The brief facts of the case are that appellant providing the said services to the railways as well as break down maintenance agreements/contracts with Indian Railways and accordingly, undertook

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maintenance for 25 KVA inverters fitted in AC Coaches. Such AMC Services are exempted from payment of Service Tax under Notification No. 24/2009, dated 27-7-2009 as amended by Notification No. 54/2010-S.T., dated 21-10-2010 extending the exemption therein to management and repair of roads, bridges, runnels, dams, airports, railways and transport terminals. Claiming the benefit of said notification appellant have not paid the service tax on the concession for service received from Railways for the period April, 2011 to June, 2012. It appeared to Revenue that the benefit of said notification is applicable only to infrastructure projects of airport, railways etc. and not to the repairing of locomotives etc. of the railways. Accordingly, Service Tax of Rs. 81,40,479/- was demanded with further proposal to impose penalty under Sections 77 & 78 of the Finance Act, 1994. The show cause notice was adjudicated vide Order-in-Original No. 72/Commissioner/Noida/2013-14, dated 27-3-2014 whereby the ld. Commissioner has observed that he finds as per established principles of interpretation of statute that the words management, maintenance or repair of roads, bridges, tunnels and dams, airports, railways and transport terminals is used. Thus, as per the exemption notification, the infrastructure projects related to railways terminals are exempted only. Further, the Notification No. 24/2009, dated 27-7-2009 as amended by Notification No. 54/2010-S.T., dated 21-10-2010 in respect of service in relation to management, maintenance or repair of infrastructure projects to Railways i.e. terminal of Railways, and since there is no reference to management, maintenance or repair of items other than terminal of Railways and transport terminals hence, the contention of the appellant is not tenable and accordingly, the proposed demand was confirmed with interest. Being aggrieved the appellant is before this Tribunal.

2. The ld. Counsel for the appellant has taken us through the definition of Railways Act, 1989 as follows:-

"(31) "railway" means a railway, or any portion of a railway, for the public carriage of passengers or goods, and includes -

(a) all lands within the fences or other boundary marks indicating the limits of the land appurtenant to a railway;

(b) all lines of rails, sidings, or yards, or branches used for the purposes of, or in connection with, a railway;

(c) all electric traction equipments, power supply and distribution installations used for the purposes of, or in- connection with, a railway;

(d) all rolling stock, stations, offices, warehouses, wharves, workshops, manufactories, fixed plant and machinery, roads and streets, running rooms, rest houses, institutes, hospitals, water works and water supply installations, staff dwellings and any other works constructed for the purpose of, or in connection with, railway;

(e) all vehicles which are used on any road for the purposes of traffic of a railway and owned, hired or worked by a railway; and

(f) all ferries, ships, boats and rafts which are used on any canal, river, lake or other navigable inland waters for the purpose.

Accordingly, he prays for allowing the appeal with consequential benefits.

3. Heard the ld. AR for Revenue, who relied on the impugned order. Having considered the rival contentions and on perusal of the facts on record, we find that the term 'railway' includes each and every respect of the railway including all rolling stock stations, offices, warehouses, wharves, workshops, factories, etc. Accordingly, we hold that the appellant shall be entitled to benefit of the Notification No. 24/2009, dated 27-7-2009 as amended by Notification No. 54/2010-S.T., dated 21-10-2010. Accordingly, we allow this appeal and set aside the impugned order. The appellant shall be entitled for consequential benefit, if any, in accordance with law
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