Decided on June 26,2020

Marbat Dohkrot Appellant
H.S.Thangkhiew, W.Diengdoh Respondents


H.S.THANGKHIEW,J. - (1.) Matter taken up via Video Conferencing. This instant batch of writ petitions assailing the impugned demand notices issued under Rules 11(2) and 11(4) of the Meghalaya Mineral Cess Rules, 1989, being similar and identical in facts and circumstances, are proposed to be disposed of by this common judgment and order.
(2.) All the writ petitioners are holders of valid mining leases under the provisions of the Meghalaya Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 2016 framed under Section 15 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. The writ petitioners produce and extract limestone for the manufacturing of lime and for raw limestone export to Bangladesh by paying the requisite royalty amount, reclamation fee as well as GST.
(3.) The grievance of the petitioners is that the impugned demand notices had been served upon them, directing the submission of returns as per the rules, and also for payment of arrear cess charged under the Meghalaya Mineral Cess Rules, 1989 within a period of 60 days, from the date of the impugned demand notice. The grievance of the writ petitioners, is based on the pleading that the impugned demand notices, can never be construed as a statutory notice issued under Rule 11(2) in 'Form H', and that further, the tax liability period for filing of returns and the date for submission of the same under Rule 5, are completely absent in the impugned demand notices, which have been issued under the provisions of Meghalaya Mineral Cess Rules, 1989. Further grievance is that the Director (Respondent No. 3) has already pre-determined the arrear cess payable, while at the same time directing the petitioners to submit the returns, which they assert, is in violation of the statutory requirements. As such, the writ petitioners are before this Court by way of these writ petitions.;

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