SECURITY GUARDS BOARD FOR BRIHANMUMBAI AND THANE DISTRICT Vs. U.O.I.
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Security Guards Board For Brihanmumbai And Thane District
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S.C. Dharmadhikari, J. -
(1.) By this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioners pray for issuance of a writ of certiorari to call for records and quash and set aside an order - Exhibit 'R' dated 21st December, 2016. A further writ claimed is a mandamus so as to direct the respondents to forthwith withdraw or cancel the said order.
(2.) Before we proceed further, we must set out the nature of the order that is impugned. Exhibit 'R' is that order and a copy of which is at page 231 of the paper book. It is an order-in-original and passed by the office of the Commissioner of Service Tax, Mumbai-VII. The show cause notices dated 31st March, 2015 and 26th April, 2016 raising a demand of Rs. 49,10,73,448/- and Rs. 55,11,86,197/- are issued to the petitioner-Security Guards Board for Greater Mumbai and Thane District. The show cause notices are premised on the fact that the Board was constituted in order to regulate the employment of private security guards employed in factories and establishments in Mumbai and Thane districts and to make better provision for their terms and conditions of employment and welfare and for matters connected therewith. A scheme known as Maharashtra Private Security Guards (Regulation of Employment and Welfare) Scheme, 2002 has also been framed under Section 3(1) of the parent Act. The Board is a tripartite body, consisting of representatives from registered employers, the security guards and the State Government. The Act styled as Maharashtra Private Security Guards (Regulation of Employment and Welfare) Act, 1981 applied to hired persons who worked as security guards in any factory or establishment through agencies but it did not apply to persons/employees who were direct and regular employees of the factory or establishment.
(3.) After referring to the Act and the scheme in great details, the show cause notices proceed to allege that the amount has been calculated because the Board renders services. The services are referable to a statute, namely, the Finance Act, 1994. It is on this premise that the tax was sought to be imposed. A detailed reply was given to the show cause notices, after which, there was a personal hearing. On examination of all the materials, the order-in-original upholds the demand and that is how the operative order at pages 260-261 has been made.;
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