At, High Court of Judicature at Allahabad
By, THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE DR. DHANANJAYA YESHWANT CHANDRACHUD & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE DILIP GUPTA
For the Appellant: Ashok Singh, Advocate. For the Respondent: --------
1. The Commissioner (Appeals), while confirming the demand on account of Service Tax, reduced the quantum of penalty vide order dated 23 October 2008. The Commissioner (Appeals) held as follows:
"However, regarding imposition of penalty by the adjudication authority, I find the matter involves the interpretation of law as demand is related to the initial period when the said services were brought into Service Tax net. In fact, the scope of Service Tax on various services is continuously being widened and during the initial stages of bringing a new service in Service Tax net, several doubts do arise regarding Service Tax applicability on the services provided. Further, the appellants being an autonomous society under the Department of Information Technology under Ministry of Communication & Information Technology, cannot be viewed as having intention to evade the payment of tax by reason of fraud, collusion, willful misstatement, suppression of facts etc. and the adjudicating authority had also not recorded any reason or evidence against the appellants in the subject order. I therefore, reduce the penalty imposed u/s. 75 from Rs. 31,37,505/- to Rs. 2,00,000/- and reduce the penalty of Rs. 200/- per day imposed under Section 76 to Rs. 100/- per day, which adequately meets the ends of justice."
The Customs, Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal has dismissed the appeal filed by the Revenue. The Tribunal, in our view has rightly not interfered with the possible view which was taken by the Commissioner (Appeals). There is no perversity in the approach of the Tribunal or, for that matter, in the order of the Commissioner (Appeals), reducing the penalty in t
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he considered exercise of his jurisdiction. Hence, no substantial question of law would arise. 2. The appeal is, accordingly, dismissed. There shall be no order as to costs.