Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal, FCA, FCS
In Apicor and Binzel Technoweld Pvt. Ltd. v. Union of India [WP (L) No. 2230 of 2018], Bombay high court has made remarkable observations vide its Order dated 6th February, 2018 on manner of implementation of GST in India and hardships being faced by the tax payers.
The petitioner approached the high court with the grievance that despite being granted the provisional GST registration, it was not able to access its online profile on the GST network and that it is not even able to generate e-way bills which had paralyzed its business activities. It was also not able to file the tax returns or pay tax or complete other compliances.
The court thus observed:
“A tax like Goods and Services Tax was highly publicised and termed as popular. We had yet not seen a celebration of New Tax regime, but that has followed with great hue and cry. These celebrations mean nothing. The special sessions of Parliament or special or extraordinary meetings of Council would mean nothing to the assessees unless they obtain easy access to the website and portals. The regime is not tax friendly. We hope and trust that those in charge of implementation and administration of this law will at least now wake up and put in place the requisite mechanism. This is necessary to preserve the image, prestige and reputation of this country, particularly when we are inviting and welcoming foreign investment in the State and the country. We hope and trust that such petitions are rarity and the Court will not be called upon to administer the implementation of the law, leave alone monitoring and supervising the working of the individual officials, howsoever high ranking he may be.”
The court also observed / held as under:
The high court thus expressed its anguish and directed the responsible officers of GST to resolve glitches in GSTN functioning. The court emphasised that the focus need to be on sorting out problem in such big tax reform. Tax administration must wake up and put requisite mechanisms in place to preserve, prestige and reputation of country.