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Case Law Details

Case Name : Bharti Enterprises Vs Commissioner (Delhi High Court)
Appeal Number : W.P.(C) 10244/2023
Date of Judgement/Order : 08/02/2024
Related Assessment Year :

Bharti Enterprises Vs Commissioner (Delhi High Court)

Introduction: In a significant legal development, the Delhi High Court has intervened in the case of Bharti Enterprises versus the Commissioner. The court’s directive pertains to the consideration of an Input Tax Credit (ITC) refund application in light of a Circular issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC). This article delves into the details of the case, analyzing the implications of the court’s decision.

Detailed Analysis: The crux of the matter lies in the rejection of Bharti Enterprises’ application for an ITC refund, dated 27th July 2022, by Respondent No. 2. The rejection was primarily based on the contention that the application was filed belatedly. Despite a show cause notice issued to the petitioner, no response was furnished, leading to the dismissal of the application.

However, the scenario took a turn following the issuance of a Notification by the CBIC on 5th July 2022. This Notification, in alignment with the directives of the Supreme Court, extended the period of limitation, thereby affecting applications under Section 54 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017. Consequently, Bharti Enterprises’ application for an ITC refund fell within the revised limitation period, as per the Circular.

The High Court, cognizant of these developments, found merit in Bharti Enterprises’ plea for reconsideration. Considering the retrospective effect of the Circular, the Court deemed it appropriate to remand the matter to Respondent No. 3 for a fresh consideration of the refund application.

This decision underscores the significance of legal interpretations in light of evolving regulatory frameworks. It emphasizes the need for responsive adjudication, especially in cases where subsequent developments alter the legal landscape. The Court’s intervention ensures that the petitioner’s rights are upheld within the framework of the law, showcasing the judiciary’s commitment to fair and equitable justice.

Conclusion: The case of Bharti Enterprises versus the Commissioner highlights the dynamic nature of legal proceedings, particularly in matters concerning taxation and regulatory compliance. The Delhi High Court’s directive to reconsider the ITC refund application in light of the CBIC Circular signifies a balanced approach towards addressing the petitioner’s grievances. It underscores the importance of legal precedent and regulatory clarity in ensuring procedural fairness and upholding the rights of taxpayers. This ruling sets a precedent for similar cases, emphasizing the judiciary’s role in interpreting and applying the law to achieve equitable outcomes.

FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF DELHI HIGH COURT

1. Issue notice.

2. Mr. Rajeev Aggarwal, learned counsel accepts notice on behalf of respondents. With the consent of parties, petition is taken up for final disposal.

Delhi HC Directs Consideration of ITC Refund in Light of CBIC Circular

3. Petitioner impugns order dated 27.07.2022 (hereafter ‘the impugned order’), passed by Respondent No. 2, rejecting the application filed by the petitioner seeking refund of accumulated input tax credit (hereafter ‘ITC’). Petitioner had filed the subject application on 12.04.2022, seeking refund of the ITC relating to tax periods July 2020 to December 2020. A Tabular statement indicating the details of the said application is set out below:

S. No Period/Month Amount Application No. Date of filing
1 July 2020-December 2020 Rs. 17,70,982/- AA070422031244R 12.04.2022

4. Respondent issued Show Cause Notice dated 23.05.2022, proposing to reject the aforesaid application on the ground that the same was filed belatedly.

5. Apparently, petitioner did not respond to the said Show Cause Respondent No. 3 rejected the application solely on the ground that petitioner had not responded to the Show Cause Notice.

6. It is relevant to note that after the impugned order was passed, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs issued a Notification dated 05.07.2022 in line with the orders passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Suo Motu Writ Petition (Civil) No. 3 of 2020 In Re : Cognizance for Extension of Limitation. In terms of the said circular, the Board directed that the period from 01.03.2020 to 28.02.2022 is excluded for purposes of computing the period of limitation, inter-alia, for applications filed under Section 54 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017. By virtue of the said circular, petitioner’s application for refund would be within the period of limitation.

7. Appeal filed by the petitioner impugning the order dated 27.07.2022 was dismissed on the ground of limitation along with four other similar appeals. Petitioner had approached this Hon’ble Court in respect of the said four appeals in W.P. (C) 10235/2023. By order dated 09.08.2023, orders of remit have been passed in the said

8. Considering the peculiar circumstances of this case, where the benefit of exclusion of the period from 01.03.2020 to 28.02.2022 has been made available subsequent to the impugned order rejecting the application for refund, this Court considers it apposite to allow the present petition and remand the matter to Respondent No. 3 to consider the petitioner’s application afresh in the light of the circular dated 05.07.2022.

9. Respondent No. 3 shall process the application of the petitioner for refund as expeditiously as possible and, in any event, within a period of eight weeks from today.

10. Petition is disposed of in the aforesaid terms.

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