The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has ruled that under Central Excise Rules, 2003, levy of interest for failure of payment of duty by due date should only be at rate of 2 per cent per month. Levy at Rs 1,000 per day for such delay was invalid under rule 8(3) of Central Excise (2nd Amendment) Rules.
Hearing a writ petition from Goodwill Team Papers Ltd, challenging collection by Asst Commissioner of Central Excise, Madurai Division of Rs 1,38,000 as interest, it said that the Rajasthan High Court had held that levy of interest at specific rate of Rs 1,000 a day was ultra vires of Section 11AB of Central Excise Act.
Petitioner contended that levy of interest at Rs 1,000 per day could not be retained, and total interest charged of Rs 1,38,000 was refundable.
The Assistant Solicitor General said that this was the correct legal position.
In the light of the above legal position, petition would stand allowed.
The department was directed to refund amount within four weeks.