The AP High Court has stayed the Centre's move to impose service tax on advocates.
The vacation bench comprising justice B Prakasa Rao and justice V Eswaraiah issued the order on Wednesday on a plea filed by HC advocates M V J K Kumar and three others who challenged the Centre's decision in this regard.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes ( CBDT) is levying the service tax on the advocates following the recent amendment of the Finance Act that brought the services of the advocates under the purview of service tax.
Appearing for the petitioners, senior counsel M V K Moorthy told the court that the advocates discharge their duties as officers of the court. "Law is no trade and brief is not a merchandise," he said.
He also brought to the notice of the court that several high courts had already stayed this move all over the country. The bench agreed and stayed the levy of service tax on the services of the advocates.