CESTAT | Non compliance with the procedure leads to dismissal of refund claim; Tribunal dismisses appeal

Customs, Excise and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT): Suvendu Kumar Pati (Judicial Member), dismissed an appeal which was filed with the rejection of refund claims of the Appellant, an 100% EOU, filed for the period between April 2013 and December 2014 amounting to Rs 13,53,058/-, under Rule 6 A of the Service Tax Rules, 1994 on the ground of non-compliance.

Counsel for the appellant, Mr Sandip Batwal submitted that if appellant had debited the claim amount in his account, it would be sufficient compliance of condition 2 (h) of Notification No. 27 of 2012 since the doctrine of substantial compliance was equitable in nature designed to avoid the hardship of the assessee. Counsel for the respondent, Mr Onil Shivadikar submitted that it was not for an exemption notification to provide benefit necessarily to the assessee and therefore when the appellant had not debited Cenvat credit ledger in compliance to Rule 2 (h) it was not entitled to derive the benefits by refund of unutilized Cenvat credit.

The Tribunal observed that going by the case of record it was established by the DR that an e-mail claiming such debit was sent to the adjudicating authority just two days prior to passing of the Order-in-Original on dated 04-12-2015, which was not placed on record and Commissioner (Appeals) had clearly placed in his order that he found no debit entry made in any of the ST-3 returns. The Tribunal held that the appellant had tried to tune the legal procedure to the point of no return in not preferring to make the necessary debit even on a future day thought Notification No. 27 of 2012 had made it obligatory to debit the same while filing refund application.

The Tribunal while dismissing the appeal held that the appellant was not entitled to get the refund as claimed by it for non-compliance with the procedure.[Steel Plantech (India) (P) Ltd. v. Commr. Of CGST, 2021 SCC OnLine CESTAT 155, decided on 23-03-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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