The petitioner, M/s.Diksat Transworld Limited stated that they got registered under the Commissionerate of Central Excise and repair Tax and got the Registration Certification. The petitioner availed the benefits of the Finance Act, 2013, which provided Voluntary Compliance of Encouragement Scheme (VCES) and paid the dues and thus the primary respondent issued the acknowledgment. The first respondent issued the show cause notice alleging certain arrears of service tax. Thus, the petitioner had invoked the jurisdiction of the Settlement Commission by applying Section 32E of the Central Excise Act, 1944. The Settlement Commission, without considering the grounds raised by the petitioner, rejected their claim and returned the case to the adjudicating authority.
Ms.V.Kirubalini, the counsel for the petitioner argued that despite true declarations made by the petitioner in Form VCES-1 and despite an acknowledgment of discharge in Form VCES-3 issued by the respondent on 18.09.2014, the second respondent ventured to reopen the case during a deliberate manner violating the provisions made under Section 18(2) of the Finance Act, 2013, Service Tax Voluntary Encouragement Scheme, 2013. At the outset, it's contended that the petitioner has made a true declaration and had cooperated for the settlement of the issues before the Commission, and thus, the order that went to The Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax Settlement Commission is to be forgotten.
Counsel appearing on behalf of the respondents disputed the said contentions by stating that the availability is extremely clear under Section 32L of the Act wherein, power of the Settlement Commission to send the case back to the Central Excise Officer is enumerated. As per Section 32L, if a private has not cooperated with the Settlement Commission within the proceedings before it, then the Commission is well within its powers to send the case back to the competent adjudicating authority.
The single Judge Bench of Justice S.M.Subramaniam ruled that the findings made within the impugned order would reveal that the complex nature of the mixed question of law would be sufficient for the aim of sending the matter back to the adjudicating authority. When such a finding is received by the Settlement Commission, the supreme court during a writ proceeding cannot direct the Commission to settle the problem. When the Commission itself categorically made a finding that it's impossible to settle the matter and documents and pieces of evidence are to be examined by the Adjudicating Authority, then there is no much scope for the supreme court to interfere with the orders passed and by sending the matter back to the Adjudicating Authority, the petitioner would also get an opportunity to provide all the documents and pieces of evidence to work out his case.