DUJODWALA RESINS & TERPENES LTD Vs. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
Dujodwala Resins And Terpenes Ltd
STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
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SUDHANSHU DHULIA, J. -
(1.) THIS Court vide order dated 2.8.2011 had allowed the contention of the petitioners to the extent that no excise duty is liable
to be charged on "raw pine resin". The operative portion of order
dated 2.8.2011 reads as under: -
"Therefore it is declared that the imposition of central excise
duty on raw pine resin collected and sold by the Uttarakhand forest
Department to the processing units is arbitrary and illegal. Consequently
the respondents are restrained from demanding central excise duty."
(2.) IT is also an admitted position that the petitioners had been paying excise duty to the revenue although they have been contesting the
matter before this Court that the said demand by the excise department is
not authorized by law.
(3.) THE petitioners have now moved an application for reclaiming the excide duty, which has already been paid by them to the Excise
Department, on the grounds that the said excise duty held to be
unauthorized under the law. This claim of the petitioners though cannot
be granted for the simple reason that this being the matter of indirect
taxes and the presumption would lie against the petitioners that they
already passed on the duty on consumer and consequently if the excise
duty which has been given by the petitioner is returned to him it would
be a case of unjust enrichment which cannot be allowed.
In a Constitution Bench decision i.e. Mafatlal Industries Ltd. Vs. Union of India (1997) 5 SCC 536, Honble Mr. Justice B. P. Jeevan
Reddy speaking for majority had observed thus:
"108. (iii) "¦ The doctrine of unjust enrichment is a just and
salutary doctrine. No person can seek to collect the duty from both ends.
In other words, he cannot collect the duty from his purchaser at one end
and also collect the same duty from the State on the ground that it has
been collected from him contrary to law. The power of the court is not
meant to be exercised for unjustly enriching a person. The doctrine of
unjust enrichment is, however, inapplicable to the State. State
represents the people of the country. No one can speak of the people
being unjustly enriched.";
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