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SC : Affirms CESTAT order; Wall construction along river bed outside 'Site formation' purview

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SC upholds CESTAT findings, though diaphragm wall construction along Sabarmati river bed under agreement with River Development Corporation classifiable as 'Site Formation and Clearance, Excavation and Earth moving and Demolition Service', same not taxable being covered by clause excluding water resource restoration activities; CESTAT earlier had accepted Revenue's plea that such construction was essential for land reclamation, hence, clearly fell within ambit of said service u/s 65(97a) of Finance Act; Though assessee providing kind of civil work, it only pertained to reclamation of land and hence, activity not classifiable as ‘commercial / industrial construction service’, observed CESTAT; However, CESTAT found merit in assessee’s contention that its activities were in nature of renovating / restoring water sources / bodies, covered by exclusion clause; On hearing Attorney General’s arguments and carefully perusing material on record, SC finds no ground to interfere with CESTAT judgement

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Guest Wednesday, 18 September 2019

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