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Case Law Details

Case Name : Ashpra Interiors Pvt Limited Vs Commissioner of GST & Central Excise (Madras High Court)
Appeal Number : Writ Petition No.3285 of 2024
Date of Judgement/Order : 14/02/2024
Related Assessment Year :

Ashpra Interiors Pvt Limited Vs Commissioner of GST & Central Excise (Madras High Court)

The Madras High Court recently intervened in a case involving Ashpra Interiors Pvt Limited versus the Commissioner of GST & Central Excise regarding the cancellation of GST registration. The petitioner challenged an order rejecting their appeal on grounds of delay, highlighting procedural discrepancies.

The petitioner, a registered entity under GST laws, faced the threat of registration cancellation due to non-filing of returns. Upon receiving a show cause notice, they promptly filed their returns, leading to the revocation of the registration suspension. However, a fresh cancellation order was issued subsequently, prompting the petitioner to challenge it through appellate proceedings.

The petitioner argued that they had filed returns upon receiving the initial notice, making the subsequent cancellation order unsustainable. Moreover, they emphasized that the order indicated no outstanding tax dues, questioning the grounds for cancellation. However, the appeal was dismissed solely based on the timing of its submission, deemed belated by the authorities.

In response, the Madras High Court scrutinized the case, noting the absence of tax dues and the prima facie validity of the petitioner’s arguments. Recognizing the procedural irregularities, the court directed the appellate authority to review the appeal on its merits within a specified timeframe, emphasizing the importance of due process.

In a significant ruling, the Madras High Court quashed the earlier order and remanded the matter to the appellate authority. The directive to review the appeal within a specified timeframe underscores the judiciary’s commitment to fairness and procedural correctness in administrative proceedings.

This decision provides relief to the petitioner and underscores the judiciary’s role in ensuring justice and procedural correctness in matters of GST registration cancellations.

FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF MADRAS HIGH COURT

The petitioner assails an order of the 2nd respondent by which the appeal filed by the petitioner against order dated 06.04.2023 was rejected on the ground that such appeal was filed belatedly.

2. The petitioner is a registered person under GST laws. He received a show cause notice dated 02.02.2023 threatening cancellation of his GSTIN registration for non filing of returns. In response thereto, he filed his returns. Therefore, by order dated 02.03.2023, the suspension of registration was revoked. However, on 06.04.2023, a fresh order of cancellation came to be issued. This was assailed in appellate proceedings culminating in the order impugned herein.

3. Learned counsel for the petitioner points out that returns were filed upon receipt of the show cause notice dated 02.02.2023. Consequently, he submits that the order dated 06.04.2023 is unsustainable. In any event, he also points out that the said order reflects that the petitioner has no tax dues. He also points out that the appeal was rejected solely on the ground of limitation.

4. Sai Srujan Tayi, learned senior standing counsel, accepts notice on behalf of the respondents. He submits that the order impugned in appellate proceedings was issued on 06.04.2023. Consequently, he points out that the appeal should have been filed on or before 05.08.2023, whereas such appeal was filed on 01.09.2023.

5. The petitioner has placed on record the order dated 02.03.2023, which indicates that the petitioner filed pending tax returns. The said order also indicates that the suspension of registration was revoked with effect from 02.03.2023. The subsequent order dated 06.04.2023 was issued on the basis that the petitioner failed to file GSTR-3B returns for a continuous period of six months. The said order also discloses that there are no tax dues as on the date of issuance thereof. In these circumstances, it appears prima facie that the petitioner has a good case on merits.

6. The impugned appellate order sets out the relevant dates. If the appeal had been filed on or before 05.08.2023, the appellate authority had power to condone delay under Section 107 of the GST Act. The appeal was filed on 01.09.2023 and the delay is less than 30 days. In the over all facts and circumstances, it is an appropriate case to direct the appellate authority to receive and dispose of the appeal on merits.

7. For reasons set out above, the order impugned herein is quashed and the matter is remanded to the appellate authority. The appellate authority is directed to receive and dispose of the appeal on merits within a maximum period of one month after providing a reasonable opportunity to the petitioner.

8. The writ petition is disposed of on the above terms. There will be no order as to costs.

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