The Calcutta High Court has dismissed the Service Tax Commissioner’s appeal against the court’s order to pay interest in the case of Sourav Ganguly, a former captain of the Indian cricket team. The court, in its order, had asked Ganguly to repay the amount wrongly taken as service tax along with interest.
On 14 December 2020, the Kolkata-based Court of Customs, Excise and Service Appeals (Eastern Region Branch) requested Ganguly, former Chairman of the Cricket Board of India, to repay the demanded amount and the corresponding interests. The Department of Revenue challenged this order in the High Court. Judge TS Shivagnanam and Judge Hiranmoy Bhattacharya said there is no point in considering this appeal.
This issue is over a decade old. Ganguly received a demonstrative cause notice on September 26, 2011. The notice asked him to pay service tax for brand promotion. The service tax required in the justification notice was confirmed by the Service Tax Commissioner in his November 2012 decision. It also addresses the payment of interest and penalties.
Ganguly deposited Rs 1,51,66,500 on 26 Feb 2014 and paid Rs 50 lakhs in March 2014 as per the interim order of the High Court. On June 30, 2016, at the request of the former captain of the Indian cricket team, the High Court said that he is entitled to get not only the given amount but also interest at a rate of 10 percent.
After challenging the revenue department’s order, the court said in February 2017 that Ganguly should bring his case to court, and the single court erred in considering the petition. Ganguly then filed an appeal with the court. Accepting Ganguly’s appeal, the court ordered to repay the amount along with interest on February 9, 2021.
After that, the Ministry of Finance challenged the order to pay interest to the former cricketer on the bench of the division. The court said earlier this week that it was not clear what the point of filing an appeal is when interest has already been paid. Rs 59,85,338 was returned to Ganguly as interest.