SC dismisses plea of Pvt tour operators seeking exemption from GST for Haj, Umrah tours

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a batch of petitions filed by various private tour operators seeking exemption from Goods and Services Tax (GST) for Haj and Umrah tours offered by them.

The petitions seeking exemption had alleged discrimination against pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia.

A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, A S Oka and C T Ravikumar dismissed the petitions on the grounds of both exemption and discrimination.

The bench said that the argument raised by the petitionerabouttra-territorial application of GST for services rendered outside India is kept open, as it is sub-judice before another bench.

Tour operators had challenged the levy of GST on Hajis who avail services provided by registered private tour operators as no tax law can apply to extra-territorial activities as per Article 245 of the Constitution.

The petitions argued that services consumed outside India cannot be subject to GST and that the levy is discriminatory as it exempts certain pilgrims who undertake pilgrimage through the Haj Committee of India.


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