xman Settlement Commission
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Introduction

The object behind the setting up the Settlement Commission (hereinafter referred as the Commission) is to create a channel whereby tax disputes can be settled expeditiously and in a spirit of conciliation rather than prolonging them through adversarial attitude. The Commission is not designed to provide an escape route for tax evaders. It is, infact, designed to provide a balanced resolution of tax disputes with a view to avoid lengthy litigation which helps neither the department nor the member of the Trade and Industry. In the proceedings before the Commission, there are no adversaries but only parties to the Settlement. Any assessee can make an application in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed by the Commission and containing “Full & True” disclosure of his duty liability which has not been disclosed before the proper officer having jurisdiction, the manner in which such liability has been derived, the additional amount of Customs or Excise Duty or Service Tax accepted to be payable by him as also the particulars of excisable goods or import or export goods or taxable services in respect of which he admits short levy

Powers

The Settlement Commission has powers to grant immunity from prosecution for any offence under the Central Excise Act, the Customs Act or under the Indian Penal Code or under any other Central Act for the time being in force in respect of the case covered by the Settlement Commission.

The Commission also has powers to grant immunity either wholly or in part from the imposition of any penalty and fine under the Central Excise Act or the Customs Act, as the case may be in respect of the case covered by the Settlement Commission.

The proceedings before the Settlement Commission shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of Section 193 and 228, and for the purposes of Section 196 of the Indian Penal Code.

Limitations

The following category of cases are excluded from the purview of the Settlement Commission

Cases relating to Customs duty where no Bill of Entry or Shipping Bill, as the case may be, has been filed.

Cases relating to Central Excise duty where no monthly returns showing production, clearances and Central Excise Duty paid in the prescribed manner has been filed.

Cases relating to Service Tax where no return has been filed.

Cases where no Show Cause Notice has been issued to the applicant.

Cases where the additional amount of Central Excise Duty/Customs Duty/Service Tax accepted by the applicant in his application does not exceed `3 lakh.

Cases involving interpretation of the classification of goods under the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 or the Customs Tariff Act, 1975.

Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax cases which are pending with the Appellate Tribunal or with any court at the time of making the application.

Cases involving seizure of goods or documents under the Customs Act or the Central Excises Act, as the case may be before the expiry of 180 days from the date of the seizure.

Customs cases to which section 123 of the Customs Act applies or cases under the NDPS Act.

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