CESTAT: Company Or Its Directors Not Liable To Pay Excise Duty If Job Workers Are Independent Contractors or Manufacturers

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The Customs, Excise, and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal in the M/s. Comet Technocom Pvt. Ltd. Versus Commissioner of Central Excise & S. Tax, Kolkata-I, wherein the Kolkata bench in the case observed and has held that the company and its director are not liable to pay excise duty if the job workers of the assessee company were independent contractors or the manufacturers.
The bench comprising of Judicial Member, P. K. Choudhury and the Technical Member, K. Anpazhakan in the case observed that if the job workers are proven to be independent contractors with no or little supervision by the assessee, then they being the manufacturers and the liability of paying excise duty is with the assessee.
In the present case, the appellant or the assessee sent materials to the diverse job workers for the manufacturer of the final product. Therefore, the court only carried out the inspection of the finished good at the premises of the assessee. Further, if the said job workers are proven to be the agents of the assessee who are working under the supervision and control, then the assessee being the real manufacturer and not the job workers. Thus, the Excise duty is being payable by the assessee.
The bench observed that the job workers are proven to be independent contractors with little or no supervision by the assessee, thus, then they being the manufacturers and the liability for paying of the excise duty lies upon them.
In the case the issue raised before the bench that the assessee company or the directors of assessee company cannot be saddled with any liability for payment of excise duty and or through the consequential penalties with respect to the goods so manufactured by the said job workers.
Arijit Chakraborty appeared for the appellant.
S. Mukhopadhyay represented the Respondent.