Introduction: The Kerala High Court recently addressed the writ petition filed by Parameswaran E. C., challenging the assessment orders (Exhibits P-3 and P-5) issued by the Assistant Commissioner. The petitioner sought to quash these orders, which determined a substantial tax liability totaling 2,22,38,370/- under CGST, SGST, along with CESS, interest, and penalties.
Detailed Analysis: The crux of the dispute revolves around the rejection of the petitioner’s rectification application (Exhibit P-4) on the grounds that the entire Input Tax Credit (ITC) was not availed through self-assessment returns within the stipulated time frame. The court noted that the petitioner failed to utilize the ITC by the last date under Section 16(4) of the CGST Act, 2017, read with relevant sections of the IGST Act and the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act. Consequently, the petitioner was deemed ineligible for the un-utilized ITC, with only a credit of Rs. 83,77,861.17/- under Compensation CESS being acknowledged.
The impugned orders, Exhibits P-3 and P-5, were dated 02.12.2022 and 24.05.2023, respectively, pertaining to the financial year 2017-18. However, the court highlighted that the petitioner has the recourse of filing an appeal under Section 107 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017. Notably, the deadline for appealing, concerning the financial years 2017-18 and 2018-19, has been extended until 31.01.2024, as per a notification dated 02.11.2023 by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs.
Conclusion: In light of the above, the Kerala High Court disposed of the writ petition but granted the petitioner the liberty to approach the Appellate Authority under the provisions of the CGST/SGST Act, 2017, against the contested orders within a month. The court emphasized the need for an expeditious consideration of the appeal by the Appellate Authority in accordance with the relevant legal provisions. This development provides a pathway for the petitioner to seek redressal through the established appellate process in GST matters.
FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF KERALA HIGH COURT
1. The present writ petition has been filed by the petitioner seeking to quash Exhibits P-3 and P-5 orders passed by the 1st respondent whereby the assessment order has been finalised.
2. The total tax liability under CGST, SGST along with CESS, interest and penalty has been determined to be 2,22,38,370/-. Vide Exhibit P5 order, Exhibit P-4 rectification application has been rejected on the ground that the petitioner failed to avail the entire ITC on self assessment basis through his returns before the last date for availment of ITC under Section 16 (4) of the CGST Act, 2017 read with Section 20 of the IGST Act, 2017 and Section 11 of the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act, 2017. the last date of availment of ITC in respect of the financial year 2017-18 was 20th April, 2019, which was subsequently extended to 30.09.2019 and therefore, the petitioner was held not be eligible for un-utilised ITC. It was held that the petitioner is eligible only for the credit of Rs. 83,77,861.17/-as ITC under Compensation CESS, rest will lapse. Petitioner’s application for rectification came to be dismissed vide Exhibit P-5 order. The impugned order i.e. Exhibits P-3 and P-5 are dated 02.12.2022 and 24.05.2023 respectively. The financial year involved is 2017-18. It is also not in dispute that against the orders impugned in this writ petition there is a remedy of appeal under Section 107 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017. The limitation for filing of appeal in respect of the financial years 2017-18 and 2018-19 has been extended up to 31.01.2024 vide the notification No.53/2023 dated 02.11.2023 issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs.
3. In view thereof, the present writ petition is disposed of with liberty to the petitioner to approach the Appellate Authority under the provisions of the CGST/SGST Act, 2017 against the orders impugned in this writ petition within a month. The Appellate Authority would consider the appeal expeditiously in accordance with the law.