Case Law Details

Case Name : M/s Avdesh Tracks Private Limited Vs. The State of Punjab and another (Punjab & Haryana High Court)
Appeal Number : VATAP No. 34 of 2012 (O&M)
Date of Judgement/Order : 02/08/2016
Related Assessment Year :

The Hon’ble Punjab & Haryana High Court in a crucial decision has held that input tax credit cannot be disallowed merely for a technical defect in the VAT Invoice such as non mentioning of words “Input Tax Credit is available to a person against this copy” as per Rule 54 of the Punjab VAT Rules, 2005.

The Court in nut shell laid down the principle that even in the absence of a statutory form provided for claiming any benefit, such as modvat credit or input tax credit, a dealer can still claim the same in case he is able to prove that the transaction was genuine and the tax had been paid to the selling dealer.

The Court while accepting the appeal against the Tribunal’s order further held that the Tribunal was not justified in rejecting the claim of input tax credit merely on technicalities, when the dealer was able to show that the tax had been paid to the selling dealer and duly deposited with the State.

The court also further held that the provisions of Rule 54 of the Rules are not mandatory, in case the claimant/dealer is able to prove from other evidence that the transaction and the claim is genuine.

The relevant extract from the judgement is as under:

“The consistent view, as appears from the aforesaid judgments of this court, is that even in the absence of a statutory form provided for claiming any benefit, such as modvat credit or input tax credit, a dealer can still claim the same in case he is able to prove that the transaction was genuine and the tax had been paid to the selling dealer. Even production of the prescribed form was not final for claiming such a benefit as the competent authority could still opine, in case there is sufficient material available with him, that the transaction was not genuine and the claimant/dealer was not entitled to the benefit. The prescribed form is merely a prima facie proof.

  15. In the case in hand, the selling dealer is a manufacturing unit covered under the provisions of the 1944 Act. For sale of the goods to the appellant, it had issued Invoice-cum-Excise Gate Pass. This is so provided under the Central Excise Rules, 1944. It contains all material particulars, such as name, address and registration number of the selling and buying dealer, printed invoice number, date, description, quantity and rate of goods, excise duty charged, sale tax charged along with rate thereof, the date and time of removal of goods from the factory, as is specifically required under the 1944 Act and the Rules. The only discrepancy, on the basis of which input tax credit is sought to be denied to the appellant is that the invoice did not contain the words “Input Tax Credit is available to a person against this copy”.

The opinion expressed by the authorities is that it is a mandatory condition, which cannot be ignored. Mere non-mentioning thereof is fatal.

In our view, the opinion expressed is contrary to the law laid down by this court as these type of technical defects in the invoices cannot be fatal for grant of input tax credit to the claimant. The claim of the appellant had been rejected only on the ground that the invoice did not contain the words “Input Tax Credit is available to a person against this copy”. The input tax credit available to a person and the genuineness of the transaction otherwise had not been examined by the authorities to record a finding that the tax, credit of which was being sought by the appellant, had in fact been paid by him to the selling dealer at the time of purchase of goods.

  16. Accordingly, question No. (i) is answered in negative while holding that the Tribunal was not justified in rejecting the claim of input tax credit merely on technicalities, when the dealer was able to show that the tax had been paid to the selling dealer and duly deposited with the State.

Question No. (ii) is also answered in negative while holding that the provisions of Rule 54 of the Rules are not mandatory, in case the claimant/dealer is able to prove from other evidence that the transaction and the claim is genuine.

  17. For the reasons mentioned above, the appeal is allowed. The matter is remitted back to the Assessing Authority to examine the genuineness of the transaction and the claim made by the appellant.”

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(Author – Amit Bajaj Advocate, Bajaj & Bajaj Advocates, 128, Sangam complex, Milap chowk, Jalandhar City (Punjab), Email: amit@amitbajajadvocate.com, M +919815243335)

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Category : GST (2077)
Type : Judiciary (8910)