A. Appeal / Limitation

1. Adjudication order dated 30-3-2012 was served by Excise Inspector on assessee’s ‘kitchen boy’ on 3-4-2012, who had unauthorisedly affixed assessee’s stamp on acknowledgement. Assessee claimed that it came to know of adjudication order on 26-7-2012 when recovery proceedings were initiated and appeal before the Commissioner (Appeals) was filed on 22-8-2012. Commissioner (Appeals) dismissed the appeal as time-barred counting from 3-4-2012, being beyond his power of condonation. Held : Daily wager ‘kitchen boy’ cannot be said to be an authorised agent of assessee, hence, service of adjudication order on him is not a valid service as per section 37C of Central Excise Act, 1944.

[Saral Wire Caraft P Ltd. v. CCE – 2017 (50) STR 237 (SC)]

2. The assessee through their letter dated 5-9-2005 had submitted month-wise details of all payments received by them against HVAC works for the period from 1-7-2003 to 15-6-2005. A show cause notice was issued to the assessee on 30-10-2007 much beyond a period of one year for availing the benefits of extended period of five years of limitation. The Tribunal held that once the details of the value of taxable services were available to the Department on 5-9-2005, there was no reason to invoke the extended period under the proviso to section 73(1) of the Finance Act, 1994. The appeal of the Department for extension of limitation was dismissed.

[CCE v. Suvidha Engineers India Ltd – 2017 (50) STR 268 (Allahabad HC)]

B. Penalty

3. The show cause notice issued to assessee was adjudicated and all the three demands raised were confirmed in the Order imposing equal penalty in terms of section 11AC of the Central Excise Act, 1944. The Tribunal, in appeal, set aside one demand but maintained the other two demands and reduced the penalty. Held: The Tribunal could not reduce the penalty for an amount lesser than the duty.

[CCE, Surat-I v. Vandana Art Prints P. Ltd. – 2017 (50) STR 91 (SC)]

C. CENVAT Credit

4. The appellant is engaged in providing packing services at clients place and utilised GTA services for transporting packing material to clients place. CENVAT credit was taken on Service Tax paid on GTA services and was utilsed for payment of output services provided. The Adjudicating Authority has denied the credit alleging there is no nexus between input services used and output services. The Tribunal, while allowing the appeal passed strictures against Adjudicating Authority and Commissioner (Appeals) for passing orders without understating the controversy arising out of show cause notice.

[Hitech Laminations Films P. Ltd. v. CST, Chennai-III – 2017 (50) STR 154 (Tri. – Chennai)]

D. Demand/Assessment

5. The assessee, a sole proprietor, had stopped manufacture and production of tread rubber. The department alleged that the assessee had manufactured and cleared tread rubber from the factory premises by suppressing the fact of such production and removal with an intent to evade payment of excise duty. The sole proprietor died and department issued second show-cause notice to his wife and daughters asking them to pay duty. Held : In absence of any machinery provisions to assess and collect tax from a deceased person/dissolved firm, all proceedings against such deceased person/dissolved firm abate and therefore, proceedings cannot be continued against legal representatives.

[Shabina Abraham v. Collector of CE 2017 (50) STR 241 (SC)]

E. Natural Justice

6. Adjudicating Authority after reply to the show cause notice fixed three alternative dates in single hearing notice. Assessee chosen to appear on third date but Adjudicating Authority was not available on the date of hearing. Adjudicating Authority passed the order ex parte without serving further hearing notice though assessee requested for fixing fresh date. Order passed on 8-5-2012 was received by the assessee on 10-8-2013. The Commissioner (Appeals) dismissed the appeal of the assessee on the ground that appeal was filed beyond limitation. Held : Rejection of the appeal on the ground of limitation was not proper. Impugned order was set aside and matter remanded back to the original authority to decide afresh after giving a proper opportunity to the appellant to meet the ends of natural justice.

[Power Lind System P. Ltd. v. CCE, Coimbatore – 2017 (50) STR 150 (Tri. – Chennai)]

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