Supreme Court to hear plea seeking direction to Centre to not levy Service Tax on Hajis

Supreme court Law Insider IN
Supreme court Law Insider IN

Queency Jain – 

The Supreme Court is all set to hear a plea, seeking direction to the Centre to not levy any Service tax on hajis performing Haj from the Haj Group Operators (HGO) and exempt them from the category of Service tax, via video conferencing. 

The petition is filed by the All India Haj Umrah Organizer Association of Mumbai calling the action of the Government to charge service tax to be in violation of Articles 14, 19, 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India.

The petitioner sought either a writ, order or a direction to the government declaring that the levy of Service tax on the Hajis, who undertake a religious pilgrimage of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia, be unconstitutional.

It was contended that the action is prima facie arbitrary and discriminatory as the people who go for Hajj through the Haj Committee of India are exempted from the service tax while the ones who go through the HGO’s are asked to pay the same.

Hence, a writ petition was filed by the All India Haj Umrah Organizer Association to challenge the levy of service tax on Hajis.

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