The steamer agents and cargo charterers continued to get exemption from
payment of 4.5 service tax levied on transportation of goods through sea
following the order of the Madras high court on March 13.
The Division Bench of the court of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice
Anitha Sumanth through on order passed on February 25 said no coercive action
can be taken against the petitioners Chennai Ennore Port Steamer agents
association (CHENSAA) for filing the writ petition against the levy by the Union
The Union Finance Ministry had levied a service tax of 4.5 per cent on
transportation of goods by sea on ship charterters and owners and made steamer
agents liable for collection of the tax. The levy came into force from January
22 though a finance ministry notification. Chensaa filed a writ petition in the
Madras high court against the levy the court had passed interim orders and
asked the centre to respond within three weeks.
When the matter came up again for hearing before the bench on March 13, the
union government sought some time to file the reply and sought adjournment. The
court posted the case on April 18 for the next hearing in the matter. It
however made it clear no coercive action should be taken against the petitioner
in the meanwhile.