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CCE Udaipur v. Balaji Builders & Contractors - (Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal) (10 Jul 2017)

Handling of transportation of goods, by itself unless it is an organised activity would not fall within definition of cargo handling service


Service Tax

In facts of present case, Respondent was engaged in providing services relating to shifting and loading of railway sleepers to M/s. Rural Engineering Pvt. Ltd. Said activity involves shifting of sleepers from water tank to the store yard and later on loading them in trucks. Respondent was paid Rs. 80 per sleeper in rendering said services. Alleging that, services rendered by Appellant fall under purview of "cargo handling services', demand notice was issued. On adjudication, demand was confirmed with interest and penalty. Aggrieved by said order, Respondent filed appeal with Commissioner (A) who allowed Appeal of Respondent. Aggrieved by said order, Revenue is in appeal. Short question involved in present case for determination is whether shifting and loading of railway sleepers within factory premises of M/s. Rural Engineering Pvt. Ltd. a service provided by Respondent would be chargeable to service tax under category of 'cargo handling services'.

Issue in present case, is similar in facts and circumstances in case of Manoj Kumar wherein Allahabad High Court analyzed definition of cargo handling and dictionary meaning of cargo. Section 65(23) of Finance Act, 1994 defines "cargo handling service as loading, unloading, packing or unpacking of cargo and includes cargo handling services provided for freight in special containers or for non-containerized freight, services provided by a container freight terminal or any other freight terminal, for all modes of transport and cargo handling services incidental to freight, but does not include handling of export cargo or passenger baggage or mere transportation of goods."

In common parlance 'cargo' means load, which is to be carried by ship, aeroplane, rail or truck. Handling of transportation of goods, by itself unless it is an organised activity, which is connected with carrying cargo (load) by ship, aeroplane, rail or truck is involved would not fall within the definition of cargo handling service. Definition specifically excludes handling of export cargo or passenger baggage or mere transportation of goods. Recently, this Tribunal in case of Khushdil Singh Vs. CCE Jaipur followed principle laid down in case of Manoj Kumar. Consequently, impugned order is upheld and appeal filed by Revenue is dismissed.

Relevant : Commissioner Central Excise vs. M/s. Manoj Kumar and Arvind Kumar MANU/UP/2137/2012


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