Case Law Details

Case Name : Apollo Screens Pvt Ltd. Vs Union of India (Guajrat High Court)
Appeal Number : Special Civil Application No. 11375 of 2018
Date of Judgement/Order : 20/08/2018
Related Assessment Year :

Apollo Screens Pvt Ltd. Vs Union of India (Guajrat High Court)

We are conscious, as pointed out by the counsel for the petitioner that some High Courts have intercepted and obviated the genuine difficulties in uploading the returns due to technical errors. However, facts of each case would have to be minutely examined. Unless there is some prima­facie evidence of genuine attempts at filing the returns having failed on account of technical errors, accepting a bald declaration by the petitioner would virtually amount to extending the time limit for filing the returns and this would lead to chaotic results.

The petitioner’s first official attempt in writing came on 27.04.2018 i.e. good four months after the time limit has lapsed. In absence of any other material suggesting genuine honest attempt on the part of the petitioner to file the return electronically, the same having failed on account of portal error or some such technical error attributable to the department, it would not be possible to extend the time limit for the petitioner.

FULL TEXT OF THE HIGH COURT ORDER / JUDGMENT

1. Petitioner has prayed for a direction to the respondents to allow the petitioner to carry forward balance CENVAT Credit available as on 30.06.2017.

2. Briefly stated, the facts are that the petitioner, a private company is engaged in manufacturing activity. As on 30.06.2017, i.e. the last date of CENVAT regime, the petitioner has CENVAT Credit in the ledger account to the tune of Rs.8.80 lakhs (rounded off). With the introduction of GST, section 140 of Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 provided for transfer of such CENVAT Credit. Rule 117 of the Central Goods and Service Tax Rules, 2017 laid down time limit for filing return and making a declaration for the unused CENVAT Credit. Such time limit initially granted was for three months and extended from time to time. Lastly, it was extended till 27.12.2017. Admittedly, the petitioner did not file return which was to be done electronically till such date. The petitioner’s first written communication was on 27.04.2018, in which, the petitioner conveyed to the departmental authorities that due to portal errors, the petitioner could not file the necessary declarations. The petitioner was under bona­fide belief that such errors would be resolved. The petitioner admitted that no screen-shot of having made an attempt to upload the return was maintained.

3. To this communication, the department replied on 03.05.2018 stating that there is no provision for filing physical return. The petitioner had not contacted the department during the time permitted for filing the return pointing out the difficulties in E­filing. At that stage, this petition was filed.

4. Having heard learned counsel for the petitioner, we do not find any reason to interfere. We are conscious, as pointed out by the counsel for the petitioner that some High Courts have intercepted and obviated the genuine difficulties in uploading the returns due to technical errors. However, facts of each case would have to be minutely examined. Unless there is some prima­facie evidence of genuine attempts at filing the returns having failed on account of technical errors, accepting a bald declaration by the petitioner would virtually amount to extending the time limit for filing the returns and this would lead to chaotic results.

5. In this context, we notice that there is nothing on record to suggest that all throughout from 01.07.2017 till 27.12.2017, the petitioner made multiple efforts at filing the returns making necessary declarations of unused CENVAT Credit. The normal conduct if the attempt was made but failed, would have been to approach the Nodal Officer or grievance cell of the department during the currency of time limit for filing the return. The petitioner’s first official attempt in writing came on 27.04.2018 i.e. good four months after the time limit has lapsed. In absence of any other material suggesting genuine honest attempt on the part of the petitioner to file the return electronically, the same having failed on account of portal error or some such technical error attributable to the department, it would not be possible to extend the time limit for the petitioner.

6. In the result, petition is dismissed.

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