Thursday, 6 February 2014

What are statutory liabilities of immovable property?

Rana Girders Ltd. v. Union of India, (2013) 10 SCC 746
Debt, Financial and Monetary Laws
Debt, Debt Recovery and Relief
Liability of auction-purchaser (subsequent purchaser) to pay outstanding dues of Central Excise of erstwhile owner -
When does not arise - Held, it is only where entire business itself is purchased as an ongoing concern, is purchaser
responsible to discharge liability of Central Excise as well - Mere purchase of some of the properties of a person who had
outstanding dues in respect of excise duty, held does not make subsequent purchaser liable therefor, in absence of
specific provision in the statute creating first charge relating to government dues/excise duty over said property and
which charge binds the subsequent purchaser/transferee either at law or in equity - In present case, there was no

statutory provision creating a first charge in relation to excise dues at relevant point in time - Hence, secured creditor and
thus appellant subsequent transferee auction-purchaser of secured property, not liable for the same - Auction-sale held
as per S. 29 of State Financial Corporations Act, 1951 (SFC) - Central Excise Department issued demand notices on
appellant auction-purchaser to clear outstanding dues of Central excise duty of erstwhile owner in view of clauses in
auction-notice and in sale deed/agreement to the effect that all the statutory liabilities arising out of said properties shall
be borne by purchaser/vendee - Sustainability - Appellant denying said liability since properties were purchased in open
auction from UPFC, free from all encumbrances - Tenability - Held, being a secured creditor, SFC gets priority over
debts of Central Excise in absence of specific provision creating charge over property under Central Excise Act, 1944 -
Further, as per clauses in auction-notice and sale deed, purchaser is liable to discharge only that statutory liability arising
out of sale of land and building which could be property tax or cess and sales tax, etc. relating to sale of plant and
machinery - In instant case, no excise duty arose out of sale of said land and building or plant and machinery since
excise dues arise only on manufacturing of excisable items - Also, appellant had not purchased entire unit as an ongoing
concern - Hence, held, auction-purchaser is not liable to discharge outstanding dues of Central excise, (2013) 10 SCC
Debt, Financial and Monetary Laws
Debt, Debt Recovery and Relief
S. 29 - Debt of secured creditors vis--vis Central Excise - Held, State Financial Corporation (SFC) would have priority
over mortgaged property/secured asset being secured creditor and Central Excise Department has no charge over said
Transfer of Property Act, 1882
Ss. 54 and 55(1)(g) & (2) and Ss. 65(c), 76(c) & 108(g) - Sale free from all encumbrances but expressly made subject to
all-statutory liabilities arising out of the land or arising out of the plant and machinery - Scope of such statutory liabilities -
Excise duty payable by vendor/seller, held, not included - The effect of the abovestated clauses is that it is only that
statutory liability which arises out of the land and building or out of plant and machinery which is to be discharged by the
purchaser - Excise dues are not statutory liabilities which arise out of the land and building or the plant and machinery -
Statutory liabilities arising out of the land and building could be in the form of the property tax or other types of cess
relating to property, etc. - Likewise, statutory liability arising out of the plant and machinery could be the sales tax, etc.
payable on the said machinery, 

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