Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal, FCA, FCS

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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 digital systems do not work properly and that still Government insists on payment of late fee for delay in filing returns.
  • Celebrations around GST and special sessions of Parliament or extraordinary meetings of GST Council mean nothing to assesses when the tax regime itself is not assessee-friendly. Image of the nation suffers due to the way GST Network is functioning.
  • Commissioners cannot say that issues can be solved only by GST Council and that they cannot do anything.
  • Court cannot be expected to administer the implementation of law. It is the executives duty to do so. A proper grievance redressal mechanism should be in place to ensure people do not have to come to court for such issues.
  • It will be constrained to pass orders on the line of those passed by Allahabad High Court in Writ (Tax) No. 67 of 2018 dated 24.01.2018. Such directions will be passed for benefit of all taxpayers and not restricted to Petitioner alone.

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.

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One response to “Court Verdict on GST Implementation & hardships faced by tax payers”

  1. p sharma says:

    very nice order to wake up GST administration,
    I have also problem to file TRAN2, the system is new ok, mistake may be occurred, but rectification option is also have to be made available to rectify the mistakes, for friendly administration, charge officers and help desk is base less they have not answer for any query

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