Central Excise Appeal No. 16 of 2014 with C.E.A. Nos. 17 & 22-23 of 2014. Case: C.C., C. Ex. & S.T., Aurangabad Vs Shri Samarth Sevabhavi Trust. Bombay High Court

Case Number:Central Excise Appeal No. 16 of 2014 with C.E.A. Nos. 17 & 22-23 of 2014
Party Name:C.C., C. Ex. & S.T., Aurangabad Vs Shri Samarth Sevabhavi Trust
Counsel:For Appellant: Dr. Kalpalata Patil Bharaswadkar, Advocate. and For Respondent: Shri V.D. Salunke, Pramod Pisal, Jayant Shah and R.A. Tambe, Advocates.
Judges:A.V. Nirgude and V.K. Jadhav, JJ.
Issue:Finance Act, 1994 - Sections 65(68), 65(105)(k)
Citation:2016 (41) STR 806 (Bom)
Judgement Date:March 20, 2015
Court:Bombay High Court
 
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Order:

V.K. Jadhav, J.

  1. Being aggrieved by the final order passed by Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, Mumbai [2014 (36) S.T.R. 83 (Tribunal)], Revenue has preferred the present appeals. A common issue is involved in all these appeals and therefore, they are being decided together by this common order.

  2. Brief facts giving rise to the present appeals are as follows:-

    The respondents in all these appeals are private limited companies whose shareholders are mainly the farmers. They entered into an agreement with respective sugar factories for harvesting of sugarcane at the fields of members of sugar factory and for transporting the same to the sugar factory as per the agreement. The remunerations for harvesting and transportation were paid on tonnage basis. The appellant was of the view that the act of harvesting of sugarcane and transporting the same from the fields of the concerned farmers to the sugar factories'' site is classified as "Manpower Recruitment or Supply Agency Services" and is chargeable to service tax. Accordingly, show cause notices came to be issued to the respondents demanding service tax under the provisions of Section 73 of the Finance Act, 1994 along with interest thereof. The notices also proposed to impose penalty under the provisions of Finance Act. The notices were adjudicated and demands were confirmed along with interest thereon. Furthermore, an equivalent amount of penalty was also imposed. Being aggrieved by the same, the respondents herein preferred appeal before the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, West Zonal Bench, Mumbai (hereinafter, for the sake of brevity called as "Appellate Tribunal"). The Appellate Tribunal, by its separate impugned judgments in all cases, set aside the order and allowed the appeals. Being aggrieved by the same, the Revenue has filed these appeals.

  3. The learned counsel for the appellant submits that as per the definition and scope of Section 65(105)(k) of the Finance Act, 1994, and also the term "Manpower Recruitment or Supply Agency Services" as separately defined in clause 68 of Section 65, the activities performed by the respondents cannot be done or completed without the aid of manpower/labour. The respondents have entered into an agreement with the sugar factories concerned for harvesting of sugarcane and transporting the same from agricultural fields to the factory site. Thus, the respondents have provided manpower to the sugar factory...

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