SC Dismisses Plea of personal Tour Operators Seeking Exemption From GST For Hajj, Umrah Tours

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The apex court has dismissed a batch of petitions filed by variety of Hajj and Umrah tour operators who sought exemption from GST on their services.

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

The petitions seeking exemption had alleged discrimination against the pilgrims traveling to Asian country.

A bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar, A S Oka, and C T Ravikumar dismissed the petitions on both the grounds of exemption and discrimination. The bench said that the argument raised by the petitioners regarding the extra-territorial application of GST for services given outside India is kept open, because it is pending consideration before another bench.

The tour operators had challenged the levy of GST on Hajis who avail themselves of services offered by registered private tour operators because no law is applicable on extra-territorial activities as per Article 245 of the Constitution.

The petitions argued that the services consumed outside India can not be subjected to GST which the levy is discriminatory because it exempts certain hajis who undertake the pilgrimage through the Haj Committee of India.