Heard Ms. M Bhattacharjee, learned counsel for the petitioner. Also heard Mr. S C Keyal, learned counsel for the respondents in the GST Department.
2. The petitioner which is a registered contractor and deals with manpower supply service and is also a service provider to the entity Oil India Limited and having service tax registered bearing no. ABZPA6595LST001 is aggrieved by the demand-cum-show-cause notice dated 29.09.2020 issued by the Joint Commissioner, Central Goods and Service Tax, Dibrugarh under the provisions of the Finance Act, 1994. As per the said demand-cum-show-cause notice, the petitioner assessee has been held to be restoring to willful suppression of material facts to evade payment of service tax amounting to ₹ 1,46,41,544/- (Rupees One Crore Forty Six Lakh Forty One Thousand Five Hundred and Forty Four).
3. Ms. M Bhattacharjee, learned counsel for the petitioner has raised several factual aspects before the Court that on facts the petitioner had paid all the necessary service tax that was payable under the law and for certain period thereof they are not required to pay the service tax as because of the change in law where the service provider is not required to pay the service tax.
4. Mr. S C Keyal, learned counsel for the GST department on the other hand raises a contention that there was no other option available to the department other than to issue the demand-cum-show-cause notice dated 29.09.2020 inasmuch as the petitioner assessee was neither present in the hearing offered nor cooperated with the authorities. But however, Mr. S C Keyal, learned counsel for the GST department upon instruction states that the department is agreeable to give the petitioner a fresh hearing and allow the petitioner to produce all the relevant materials that they may desire to produce to substantiate that they had paid all the tax as required under the law.
5. Considering the nature of the contention raised by the petitioner on facts that they had paid all the tax, it would be inappropriate for the Court under Article 226 to go into such question requiring the petitioner to produce all the relevant materials before the Court and then embark upon the question as to whether the tax was paid or not. The said exercise would be further inappropriate from the point of view of the submission of Mr. S C Keyal, learned counsel for the GST department that the petitioner had not produced all the relevant materials before the authorities and nor had cooperated with the authorities.
6. Considering the matter in its entirety, we direct the Joint Commissioner of Central Goods and Service Tax, Dibrugarh to give a fresh hearing to the petitioner and allow them to produce all the relevant materials as may be desired to substantiate that the tax involved in the demand-cum-show-cause notice was duly paid by them. Accordingly, the petitioner to appear before the Joint Commissioner, Central Goods and Service Tax, Dibrugarh on 28.03.2022 at 10:30 AM. Upon the appearance of the petitioner, the Joint Commissioner shall give a fresh hearing to the petitioner and allow them to produce all the relevant materials and also to raise any other issue that the petitioner may desire to raise. Upon conducting such hearing, a reasoned order be passed and the order to be passed shall supersede the demand- cum-show-cause notice dated 29.09.2020 impugned before this court.
7. Till such hearing is given and a reasoned order is passed, no coercive action be taken against the petitioner.
8. Writ petition stands allowed as indicated above.