The petitioner's past conduct cannot operate as estoppel. Therefore, the writ petition is disposed of giving liberty to the respondent to proceed against the petitioner with the demand but then, by not putting the petitioner's past conduct against him.
Classification of Betel Nuts -– The petitioner a manufacturer of betel nut product submitted that in erstwhile central excise regime, while other manufacturers took the stand that their product will come under Chapter 8 of the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 and contested the stand of the department that the product will come under Chapter 21. But the petitioner did not want to contest the matter and opted to be classified under Chapter 21 since there was no financial implication. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the decision in Crane Betel Nut Powder Works Vs. Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise, Tirupathi held the product be classified under Chapter 8 and not under Chapter 21. The petitioner submitted that post GST, the products classified under Chapter 21 are levied at 18% and products classified under Chapter 8 are taxed at a lesser rate 5%. The petitioner on 08.07.2020 was asked to pay tax to the tune of Rs. 2,76,94,921/- by quantifying the amount by computing the applicable rate of tax at CGST 9% and SGST 9% under Chapter 21. The court observed that merely because the petitioner had earlier opted to be classified under Chapter 21, the petitioner's past conduct cannot operate as estoppel.
Held that:- The Hon’ble High Court disposed the petition by giving liberty to the respondent to proceed against the petitioner with the demand but then, by not putting the petitioner's past conduct against him.