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Case Law Details

Case Name : Garg Sons Estate Promoters Pvt. Ltd. vs. Commissioner of State Taxes & Excise and others (Himachal Pradesh High Court)
Appeal Number : CWP No. 804 of 2024
Date of Judgement/Order : 23/01/2024
Related Assessment Year :

Garg Sons Estate Promoters Pvt. Ltd. vs. Commissioner of State Taxes & Excise and others (Himachal Pradesh High Court)

In a notable decision, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has intervened in the case of Garg Sons Estate Promoters Pvt. Ltd. vs. Commissioner of State Taxes & Excise and others, putting a temporary halt to the enforcement of a GST tax liability order. This move comes as a significant relief for Garg Sons Estate Promoters Pvt. Ltd., herein referred to as the petitioner, amidst allegations of procedural duplication concerning GST liabilities.

Detailed Analysis

The case unfolds with the issuance of summons under Section 70 of the HPGST/CGST Act, 2017, by respondent No. 2, covering the period from 01.01.2021 to 30.06.2021, regarding supplies received from M/S R.J. Trading. Despite the petitioner’s response, a subsequent show cause notice under Section 74 (1) of the Act was served, culminating in an order imposing tax, interest, and penalty on the petitioner dated 20.05.2023.

The crux of the petitioner’s argument lies in the duplication of proceedings. The petitioner draws attention to a similar summons issued for the period from 01.07.2017 to 30.06.2021, which resulted in the payment of GST liability amounting to Rs. 2,52,49,764/-, thereby closing the proceedings with the Central authorities as per Annexure P-12 dated 21.12.2023.

The petitioner contends that the impugned order dated 20.05.2023 subjects them to double jeopardy for the same liability, which not only lacks procedural fairness but also inflicts undue hardship and potential irreparable financial harm.

Conclusion

The Himachal Pradesh High Court, acknowledging the merits of the petitioner’s case and the principle of preventing double jeopardy, has stayed the impugned order. This decision underscores the importance of judicial oversight in ensuring fairness and equity in tax administration processes. By halting the enforcement of the contested GST liability, the court safeguards the petitioner from the consequences of procedural oversights, setting a precedent for handling similar disputes in the future.

FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF HIMACHAL PRADESH HIGH COURT

Notice. Mr. Rajan Kahol, learned Additional Advocate General, appears and waives service of notice on behalf of respondents No. 1 & 2 and seeks time to file reply.

Issue notice to respondent No.3, returnable within six weeks, on taking steps within three days.

Pleadings (Reply/Rejoinder) be completed on or before next date of hearing.

CMP No. 1373 of 2024

Notice in aforesaid terms.

Vide Annexure P-2 dated 03.07.2021 respondent No.2 had issued summons under Section 70 of the HPGST/CGST Act., 2017. The period in question pertains to 01.01.2021 to 30.06.2021. The proceedings in question pertain to supplies received by the petitioner from one M/S R.J. Trading.

Reply thereto was filed by the present petitioner on 21.10.2021, appended alongwith the present petition, as  Annexure  P-4.  On  perusal  of  the  reply  so  filed, respondent No.2 had issued a show cause notice under Section 74 (1) of the HPGST/CGST Act., 2017. The same was issued on 12.01.2023.

Subsequent thereto vide impugned Annexure P-10, dated 20.05.2023 tax liability of GST (CGST + HGST) under Section 74 (9) of the HPGST/CGST Act, 2017 alongwith interest and penalty was imposed on the present petitioner.

At this juncture, learned counsel for the petitioner has drawn the attention of this Court to Annexure P-3, i.e. summons issued under Section 70 of the Central Goods and Excise Taxation Act., 2017, issued by the Central Authorities on 12.08.2021. The period in question pertains to 01.07.2017 to 30.06.2021.

The aforesaid summons culminated in order dated 21.12.2023, i.e. Annexure P-12. A perusal of Annexure P-12 reflects that in so far as the petitioner is concerned qua the petitioner’s dealing with M/S R.J. Trading  Company  GST  liability  worked  out  was Rs. 2,52,49,764/- for the period in question. The aforesaid amount stand deposited by the petitioner with the Central authorities on account of GST. Therefore, proceedings were closed as is evident from Annexure P-12 dated 21.12.2023.

In the aforesaid facts and attending circumstances,  the  learned  counsel  for  the  petitioner submits that there is a duplication of proceedings in so far as dealing of the petitioner with M/S R.J. Trading Company is concerned. The petitioner is being vexed twice for the liability in question.

Based on the documents placed on record, a prima facie case exists in favour of the petitioner. Balance of convenience also lies in favour of the petitioner. Grave irreparable loss, which cannot be compensated in terms of money shall be occasioned to the petitioner, if in case the respondents are not restrained from giving effect to Annexure P-10, i.e. order dated 20.05.2023.

In view of the aforesaid, the impugned order dated 20.05.2023, is stayed till further order. The application stands disposed of.

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