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Advaita wins service tax relief for lottery distributor Future Gaming

Advaita Legal won relief from service tax for lottery distributors, in Future Gaming’s Sikkim high court writ challenging the imposition of service tax on them.

Advaita senior attorney AR Madhav Rao and associates Rajat Mittal and Nandita Narayan acted for Future Gaming which had challenged Finance Act 2015 amendments putting lottery distributors in the category of service providers and hence liable to pay service tax.

Justices Sonam Wangdi and Meenakshi Rai observed that explanations inserted in clauses of the latest Finance Act cannot override the law laid down in judgments which have already held that Future Gaming is not a service provider.

The bench stated in its order:

“As noted earlier, the amendments in question have been carried out by the Parliament in order to overcome the decisions of this Court in the Future Gaming Case 2015 (supra) and Future Gaming Case 2014 (supra) which we have alluded to in detail. We agree with Mr. Rao that it is trite that when a Legislature sets out to validate a tax declared by a Court to be illegally collected under an ineffective or an invalid law, the cause for ineffectiveness or invalidity must be removed before the validation can be said to take place effectively. “

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