Published on: 27 July 2022 at 18:06 IST
The Supreme Court dismissed petitions filed by various private tour operators seeking exemption from Goods and Service Tax (GST) for Hajj and Umrah services offered by them to pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia.
The plea was heard by Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, AS Oka and CT Ravikumar. The levy of GST on Hajis availing services of private tour operators was challenged on the ground that the levy is discriminatory as it exempts hajis who undertake the pilgrimage through the Haj Committee of India.
The petitioners hereby, various tour operators and State Hai organisers challenged the exemption of GST charges on ground that no tax law can be applicable on extraterritorial activities as per Article 245 of the Constitution.
It was also submitted that the journey and the privileges are alin actual a part of religious ceremony and it cannot be separated from the pilgrimage and thuse, is entitled to be exempted.
However, the SC rejected the plea stating that the exemption is already provided for Haj Pilgrimage, if conducted through approved channels. Hence, other private operators opening such tours shall be required to charge GST on their services.