Case Law Details

Case Name : Mohalla Tech Private Limited Vs Union of India (Karnataka High Court)
Appeal Number : Writ Petition No. 10774/2020(T/RES)
Date of Judgement/Order : 14/10/2020
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (6289) Karnataka High Court (330)

M/s Mohalla Tech Private Limited Vs Union of India (Karnataka High Court)

The learned Counsel for the petitioner and the learned Additional Government Advocate are heard, and perused the fourth respondent’s impugned order dated 13.05.2020 in Form No.GST-RFD-06.

2. There is no dispute that the impugned order is an appealable order under section 107 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 [for short ‘Act’]. However, the petitioner has preferred this writ petition alleging that the impugned order is without the opportunity of being heard as contemplated under the proviso to Rule 92[3] of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 [for short ‘Rules]. It is also undisputed that a proposition notice as contemplated under the Rules is issued on 20.04.2020 and the petitioner filed has filed its Reply on 3.5.2020 and thereafter the impugned order is made. Rule 92[3] of the Rules reads as under:

“92: Order sanctioning refund:

[1] xxxx xxxxx xxxx

[2] xxxx xxxxx xxxx

[3] Where the proper officer is satisfied, for reasons to be recorded in writing, that the whole or any part of the amount claimed as refund is not admissible or is not payable to the applicant, he shall issue a notice in FORM GST RFD-08 to the applicant, requiring him to furnish a reply in FORM GST RFD-09 within a period of fifteen days of the receipt of such notice and after considering the reply, make an order in FORM GST RFD-06 sanctioning the amount of refund in whole or part, or rejecting the said refund claim and the said order shall be made available to the applicant electronically and the provisions of sub-rule [1] shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to the extent refund is allowed:

Provided that no application for refund shall be rejected without giving the applicant an opportunity of being heard.”

3. There is no dispute that the proviso contemplates right of hearing and this hearing has not been extended to the petitioner. It is settled law that the procedural safeguards have to be strictly adhered to, and in the absence of specific procedural safeguards, the principles of natural justice will have to be complied with. The provisions of Proviso to Rule 92[3] stipulate a right to be heard; and in the present case, this right, as accepted by the learned Additional Government Advocate, is not extended to the petitioner. Therefore, the order cannot be sustained and is required to be quashed on this short ground, and the case remanded for re- consideration.

4. The learned Counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner’s anxiety is that the fourth respondent who has passed the impugned order would be predetermined and merely reiterate the reasons assigned in the impugned order rendering compliance with the right of hearing contemplated under Rule 92[3] of the Rules an empty formality. This apprehension could be addressed by observing that the fourth respondent is required to hear the petitioner on the grounds specifically urged in the reply dated 3.5.2020 and decide on the same in accordance with the provisions of the Act/Rules. Therefore, the following:

ORDER

[a] The impugned Order dated 30.05.2020 issued in Form GST-RFD-06 passed by the fourth respondent is quashed and the proceedings are restored for consideration by the fourth respondent in the light of the observation made in the course of this Order; and

[b] The petitioner/authorized representative of the petitioner shall appear before the fourth respondent in person on 4.11.2020, and if the fourth respondent has the facilities to hold virtual hearings, the petitioner shall also be at liberty on 4.11.2020 to make a request for such virtual hearing.

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