At, Customs Excise Service Tax Appellate Tribunal Principal Bench New Delhi
By, THE HONORABLE JUSTICE: S.K. MOHANTY
By, MEMBER AND THE HONORABLE JUSTICE: B. RAVICHANDRAN
For Petitioner: Amresh Jain, DR And For Respondents: A.K. Batra, CA
1. The Revenue is in appeal against order dated 30-4-2013 passed by the Commissioner, Service Tax, New Delhi. Brief facts of the case are that the respondent is a tour operator providing taxable service under the category of air travel agency service, BAS and tour operator service. The dispute in the present case relates to the liability of the respondent for service tax under the category of "tour operator services" during the period 1-10-2010 to September, 2011. The proceedings initiated against the respondent to demand of service tax of Rs. 76,53,287/- concluded in the impugned order. The original authority dropped the demand by observing that as per the records, the respondent performed part of their service outside India as such, the tour operator services in relation to package outgoing tour will qualify as export of service, not liable to service tax. Relying on the Circular of the Board dated 12-10-2007, the Original Authority dropped the demand.
2. The Ld. AR elaborated the grounds of appeal, to state that the original authority erred in finding that the services rendered by the respondent should be considered as export of service. He further submitted that the condition of payment in foreign exchange is not fulfilled in the present case, as such, the service cannot be considered as exported, due to non-fulfillment of condition under Rule 3(2) of Export of Services Rules, 2005. The Revenue further contended that the services of organizing or arranging outbound package tour having performed and provided by the respondent and the same has been performed and provided in India. Such planning, organizing the tour has not been performed outside India.
3. The Ld. Consultant for the respondent submitted that in respondent's own case, for the earlier period, the demand was dropped by the original authority. The Revenue filed an appeal which was decided by the Tribunal vide Final Order No. 52415/2017, dated 17-3-2017. The facts of the present case are identical and as such, there is no merits in the appeal by the Revenue.
4. We have heard both the sides and perused the appeal records. Admittedly, in respect of respondent's own case on identical set of facts, for the previous period, the Tribunal vide Final Order dated 17-3-2017 upheld the findings of the Original Authority observing as below:-
"7. After careful consideration of the facts on record and the submissions of both sides, it appears that the subject matter was discussed and decided by CESTAT Delhi in the case of COX Kings India Ltd. v. Commissioner of Service Tax, New Delhi: 2014 (35) S.T.R. 817 (Tri.-Del.). The CESTAT in this case inter alia observes as under :- Page 5 of 5 ST/2716/2012 (i) The composite activity of operation of outbound tours and planning, scheduling, organizing or arranging tours by mode of transport other than by tourist vehicle is clearly outside the locus of "Tour Operator" definition. (ii) It was also held that the consideration received in respect of services of operating and arranging outbound tours which were consumed by the tourists beyond the territory of India, was not leviable to Service Tax as the taxable event was the provision of taxable service; and not the pursuit of the profession, of the taxable service provider. (iii) The Act authorizes the levy and collection of tax for providing a destination and consumption based taxable service but does not authorize a levy and collection of tax, for a service provided and consumed beyond the Indian territory.
7.1 Further, CESTAT Delhi in the case of Commissioner of Service Tax, Delhi v. Paras Holidays Pvt. Ltd : 2016 (44) S.T.R. 257 (Tri.- Del.) based on its d
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ecision in the case of COX Kings India Ltd. (supra) again holds that the tour operator services in case of outbound tours are not taxable. Consequently, there is not sufficient force in the appeal filed by the Revenue and the same deserves dismissal." Following the above decision of the Tribunal, we find no merits in the appeal filed by the Revenue and the same is, accordingly, dismissed.