India's Supreme Court dismisses petitions for the Hajj and Umrah tours
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India's Supreme Court has dismissed petitions by private tour operators seeking exemption from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the Hajj and Umrah tours they offer.
The petitions seeking exemption had alleged discrimination against the pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia.
A bench, comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar, A S Oka, and C T Ravikumar, yesterday (July 26, 2022) dismissed the petitions on both grounds of exemption and discrimination, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
The bench said the argument raised by the petitioners regarding the extra-territorial application of GST for services given outside India is kept open as it is pending consideration before another bench.
The tour operators had challenged the levy of GST on Hajj pilgrims who avail themselves of services offered by registered private tour operators because no tax law can be applicable on extra-territorial activities as per Article 245 of the Constitution.
The petitions contended that the services consumed outside India cannot be subjected to GST and that the levy is discriminatory as it exempts certain hajj pilgrims who undertake the pilgrimage through the Hajj Committee of India.