Decided on October 12,2018

Apeejay Tea Ltd.And ors. Appellant
Union of India And Ors. Respondents


A.M.BUJOR BARUA,J. - (1.) Heard Mr. A. Mazumder, learned senior counsel for the petitioners. Also heard Mr. B. Sarma, learned counsel for the respondent authorities. In all the three writ petitions a common question of law is involved to be determined on the same set of facts, except that the demand notices under section 73 of the Finance Act of 1994 are in respect of different tea estates of the petitioner company and accordingly, the three writ petitions are taken up for a final consideration, resulting in the common judgment and order.
(2.) The petitioners are engaged in the business of plantation, manufacture, sale and transportation of tea under the petitioner No. 1 company, which has various tea gardens in India. In course of their business, the petitioners engage various goods transport agencies for transportation of the tea from its tea gardens in Assam to its ware houses. The question involved is as to whether the petitioners are liable to pay service tax under Chapter-V of the Finance Act of 1994 for availing the service of transportation of the tea. To that effect, demand cum show-cause notices of different dates were issued by the Assistant Commissioner of Excise Customs and Good and Services Tax, Guwahati to the different tea estates operated by the petitioner No.1.
(3.) In respect of Budlapara tea estate, a demand cum show cause notice dated 7.9.17 was issued for the period from April 2013 to March 2016 by arriving at a conclusion that service tax including cess for an amount of Rs.3,52,556/- was evaded. Consequent thereto, the Budlapara tea estate was called upon to show cause notice within thirty days as to why service tax including cess amounting to Rs.3,52,556/- should not be recovered under Section 73(1) of the Finance Act of 1994 and further as to why appropriate interest should not be charged and recovered under Section 75 and further as to why penalty should not be imposed under Section 78 of the said Act of 1994.;

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