Vaishali Sharma vs. Union of India & Ors. - (High Court of Delhi) (05 Aug 2020)
A liberal interpretation has to be given to the Scheme, 2019 to allow the businesses to make a fresh beginning
Present writ petition has been filed challenging the order dated 26th February, 2020, whereby the Respondents have rejected the declaration dated 29th December, 2019 filed by the Petitioner in Form SVLDRS-1 under the Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme, 2019 (Scheme, 2019).
Learned counsel for Petitioner states that, the Petitioner pursuant to summons dated 14th May, 2018 had admitted her liability in the context of services rendered in lieu of commission earned from Herbalife India Private limited on 18th May, 2018 itself. Accordingly, Petitioner filed a declaration dated 29th December, 2019 under the SVLDR Scheme, but the same has been rejected on the sole ground that, the demand was neither quantified nor communicated to the Petitioner on or before 30th June, 2019.
Learned counsel for Petitioner states that, as the Petitioner had admitted her liability on 18th May, 2018 itself, the demands stood quantified. Learned counsel for Petitioner submits that, paras 4(a) and 10 (g) of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs Circular dated 27th August, 2019 provides for relief under the Scheme for cases under investigation and audit where the duty involved had been admitted by the Assessee/declarant in a statement on or before 30th June, 2019.
In the opinion of present Court, a liberal interpretation has to be given to the Scheme as its intent is to unload the baggage relating to legacy disputes under the Central Excise and Service Tax and to allow the businesses to make a fresh beginning. Since, it is the Petitioner's case that she had admitted her liability to pay service tax on 18th May, 2018 itself, present Court is of the view that, the Respondents should have given an opportunity of hearing to the Petitioner before rejecting the declaration dated 29th December, 2019 under the Scheme, 2019.
Consequently, the impugned order dated 26th February, 2020 is set aside and the designated committee is directed to decide the Petitioner's application after giving an opportunity of hearing to the Petitioner. Petition disposed off.
Tags : DECLARATION REJECTION VALIDITY