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Euro Footwear Ltd. Vs. Commissioner of Central Excise, Kanpur - (Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal) (06 Sep 2018)

In making refunds claims, an assessee is bound within four corners of Statute and period of limitation prescribed in Central Excise Act and Rules framed therein

MANU/CN/0101/2018

Excise

The Appellants are engaged in the manufacture and export of Leather Footwear. They were paying service tax on 'reverse charge basis', in respect of services obtained by them from foreign service provider. The period involved in the present appeal is prior to 18th April, 2006.

Subsequently, in terms of the Hon'ble Bombay High Court's decision in the case of Indian National Shipowners' Association vs. Union of India, no service tax was payable on 'reverse charge basis' for the period prior to 18th April, 2006, when the provisions of Section 66A were introduced in the Statute Book. Accordingly, the Appellant filed refund claims alongwith interest, which was originally rejected by the Adjudicating Authority on merits as also on limitation. On appeal Commissioner (Appeals) held in favour of the Appellant on merits, in terms of the law declared by the Hon'ble Bombay High Court but rejected the claim on the point of limitation. The only issue to be decided in the present appeal is as to whether the refund claim filed by the Appellant would be barred by limitation or not.

All the refunds claims filed by assessee are required to be dealt with in terms of the provision of Section 11B of Central Excise Act, 1944 which provides a normal period of limitation of one year from the relevant date, unless said payment of tax/duty was under protest or in terms of the provisional assessments. The Tribunal working within the four corners of the Act is required to decide all the disputes falling under the Act, in terms of the provisions of the Act only.

The Apex Court in the case of Collector of Central Excise, Chandigarh vs. M/s. Doaba Co-Operative Sugar Mills Limited laid down that, in making claims for refunds before the departmental authority an assessee is bound within four corners of the Statute and the period of limitation prescribed in the Central Excise Act and Rules framed therein must be adhered to as the authorities functioning under the Act are bound by the provisions of the Act.

In view of the foregoing decisions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, the limitation as provided under Section 11B of Act, is to be applied to each and every refund claim. The refunds in the present case having been admittedly filed beyond the period of limitation of one year are barred by limitation. Appeal is rejected.

Relevant : Indian National Shipowners' Association vs. Union of India reported at MANU/MH/0213/2009, Collector of Central Excise, Chandigarh vs. M/s. Doaba Co-Operative Sugar Mills Limited reported at MANU/SC/0085/1988

Tags : REFUND   DENIAL   VALIDITY  

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