VAT High Court Cases

Bihar State Electricity Duty Act, 1948 – Doctrine of promissory estoppel – setting-up of Captive Power Generation Plant – Denial of exemption from payment of Electricity duty – Petitioner has availed benefit of exemption from payment of electricity duty for 10 years in respect of its captive power generation plants (CPPs) in terms of Industrial Policy 2001 – Assessing Officer denied benefit of exemption in respect of 30MW CPP having date of commercial production on ground that Notification dated 17-7-2004 only provided for exemption to CPPs having commercial production before 31-3-2005 – Tribunal dismissed revision application of Petitioner – Whether Petitioner is entitled for benefit of exemption from payment of electricity duty for a period of ten years from date of commercial production of its 30 MW Captive Power Generation Plant in terms of Clause 15.2.2 of Industrial Policy 2001 – HELD – Under Industrial Policy, 2001, there was a solemn promise extended by State that generation of electricity from CPPs would be exempted from payment of electricity duty for a period of 10 years from date of its commercial production – In order to give effect to Clause 15.2.2 of Industrial Policy, Commercial Tax Department issued Notification dated 17-7-2004 in exercise of power under Section 9 of the Act – Assessing Authority denied benefit of exemption to Petitioner in respect of its 30 MW CPP on ground that validity of Notification dated 17-7-2004 was not extended – During pendency of revision application before Tribunal, State extended validity of exemption notification up to 31-3-2011 – Petitioner’s 30 MW CPP was established during subsistence of Industrial Policy – Merely because State authorities delayed in issuance of follow up Notifications, Petitioner could not be deprived of its legitimate entitlement of exemption – Petitioner is entitled to benefit of exemption from payment of electricity duty in respect of its 30MW Captive Power Generation Plant having date of commercial production on 4-5-2009 in terms of provisions contained under Clause 15.2.2 of Jharkhand Industrial Policy-2001 – Order passed by Tribunal set aside – Writ Application is allowed by remand

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