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Case Law Details

Case Name : M Trans Corporation Vs State Tax Officer (Kerala High Court)
Appeal Number : WP(C) No. 7731 of 2024
Date of Judgement/Order : 21/03/2024
Related Assessment Year :

M Trans Corporation Vs State Tax Officer (Kerala High Court)

Introduction: In a recent judgment, the Kerala High Court addressed a case where M Trans Corporation mistakenly claimed IGST refund instead of CGST/SGST. Despite the petitioner’s argument of a bona fide mistake, the court dismissed the petition. This article provides a detailed analysis of the judgment and its implications.

Detailed Analysis: The petitioner, M Trans Corporation, a registered dealer under the CGST Act and Kerala SGST Act, filed returns for the year 2017-18. However, show cause notices were issued alleging excess input tax credit availed by the petitioner as SGST and CGST. The petitioner claimed IGST instead of CGST/SGST, leading to the disallowance of input tax credit and imposition of tax, interest, and penalty.

The petitioner contended that the mistake was not deliberate but a bona fide error. Citing a Karnataka High Court judgment, the petitioner argued against punishing for such genuine mistakes.

However, the court observed that the statute prescribes a specific time limit for moving applications to correct such errors or claim refunds. As the petitioner failed to adhere to this timeline, the court couldn’t intervene beyond its jurisdiction to amend statutory provisions.

Despite relying on a Karnataka High Court judgment, the Kerala High Court emphasized that it lacked binding precedent and didn’t consider statutory provisions.

Conclusion: The Kerala High Court’s dismissal of M Trans Corporation’s petition highlights the importance of adhering to statutory timelines for correcting errors or claiming refunds under GST laws. While genuine mistakes may occur, timely compliance with procedural requirements is essential. This judgment serves as a reminder for taxpayers to exercise diligence in their GST filings to avoid adverse legal consequences.

FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF KERALA HIGH COURT

1. The petitioner is a registered dealer under the provisions of the CGST Act and Kerala SGST Act, 2017 and the Rules made The petitioner filed returns under the provisions of the GST Act pertaining to the year 2017-18. However, the show cause notice was issued to the petitioner in Form GST ASMT 10 dated 02.08.2020 and show cause notice dated 10.11.2022 followed. The petitioner filed the reply to the said Show Cause Notice, however, the Assessing Authority rejected the contention of the petitioner and found that the petitioner had availed excess input tax credit in the financial year 201 7-18 to an extent of Rs. 47,048/- as SGST and same amount as CGST. On the said amount the petitioner has been directed to pay the tax, interest and penalty etc.

2. The learned Counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner instead of claiming the CGST/SGST claimed IGST and it was not a bonafide mistake committed by the petitioner. Therefore, for this bonafide mistake, disallowance of the input tax credit claimed by the petitioner does not appear to be correct. The learned Counsel for the petitioner had placed reliance on the Judgment of the Karnataka High Court in M/s. Orient Traders v. The Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes & Another [2023 (1) TMI 838 – Karnataka HC], would submit that for bonafide mistake the dealer/assessee should not be punished and the ITC claimed wrongly availed as IGST instead of CGST should be allowed.

3. I have considered the submissions advanced by the learned Counsel for the petitioner and the learned Government Pleader. Section 54 read with Section 49 prescribes for refund of excess tax etc., paid by the registered dealer by moving an application within the period of two years from the last date of filing the returns for the relevant year. In the present case, the financial year is of 2017- 18 for which the due date for filing the application for correcting the mistake or claiming the refund of the IGST was 23.04.2019. Admittedly, the petitioner did not move any application within the time prescribed and even the extended time. This Court, in exercise of its limited jurisdiction cannot amend the statute, prescribes different time limit for moving such an application and, therefore, I do not find much substance in this writ petition.

4. So far as the Judgment of the Karnataka High Court (supra) relied on by the learned Counsel for the petitioner is concerned, in the said Judgment, the statutory provisions have not been taken. The said Judgment does not have any binding precedent. In view thereof, the present writ petition is hereby dismissed.

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