The Kerala High Court recently addressed a case involving Hasbro Clothing Pvt Ltd and the Deputy Commissioner of State Tax Special Circle. The court’s decision revolved around the assessment orders for the years 2014-15 and 2016-17. This article provides a comprehensive analysis of the case, highlighting key points and legal implications.
Background of the Case: The case began with Hasbro Clothing Pvt Ltd, a wholesale textile dealer, challenging assessment orders (Exts.P7 and P8) for the Assessment Years 2014-15 and 2016-17 issued under the KVAT and CST Acts. These assessment orders led to a series of legal proceedings.
Appeals and Remand: In response to the initial assessment orders, Hasbro Clothing Pvt Ltd filed appeals before the 2nd respondent. Subsequently, the 2nd respondent set aside the assessment orders (Exts.P3 and P4) and remanded the matter to the Assessing Authority for further review. The petitioner was instructed to provide the necessary documents during this process.
Failure to Produce Relevant Documents: While the petitioner had the responsibility to furnish the relevant documents, they failed to do so. The Assessing Authority issued notices requesting the documents, which went unheeded by the petitioner. This lapse in providing essential documentation resulted in the Assessing Authority taking action.
Fresh Assessment Orders: Due to the absence of the required documents, the Assessing Authority proceeded to pass fresh assessment orders, which are the subject of this case. Hasbro Clothing Pvt Ltd, dissatisfied with the re-assessment orders, turned to the Kerala High Court by filing a writ petition.
Court’s Decision: The Kerala High Court, in its judgment, deemed the writ petition as misconceived and not maintainable. The court emphasized the availability of an effective statutory remedy—the right to appeal under the KVAT Act. As a result, the court dismissed the writ petition.
Conclusion In conclusion, the Kerala High Court’s judgment in the case of Hasbro Clothing Pvt Ltd vs. Deputy Commissioner of State Tax Special Circle underscores the importance of utilizing statutory remedies available under the KVAT Act. The court has encouraged the petitioner to pursue appeals within a specified timeframe. Until the appeal process concludes, no coercive measures will be taken regarding recovery notices. This case serves as a reminder of the significance of following established legal procedures in tax matters.
FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF KERALA HIGH COURT
The present writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India has been filed questioning the assessment orders Exts.P7 and P8 in respect of the Assessment Years 2014-15 and 2016-17.
2. The petitioner claims to be a wholesale dealer in textiles and is an assessee under the KVAT and CST Acts. The Assessment Orders were passed as Exts.P3 and P4. The petitioner, being aggrieved by the Assessment Orders, filed appeals before the 2nd respondent. The 2nd respondent set aside the assessment orders vide orders in Ext.P5 and P6 and remanded the matter back to the files of the Assessing Authority for re-doing the process. The petitioner was directed to produce the relevant documents before the Assessing Authority
3. The petitioner ought to have produced the relevant documents on his own, but he did not produce them. As per the impugned orders, the petitioner was issued notices for producing the relevant documents, which he failed to produce.
4. In the absence of the relevant documents having been produced by the petitioner, the Assessing Authority has passed the impugned assessment orders afresh. Now the petitioner has approached this Court in the writ jurisdiction against the re-assessment orders. I am of the view that the writ petition is wholly misconceived and is not maintainable in view of the efficacious statutory remedy of appeal provided under the KVAT Act before the appellate authority.
5. Thus, this writ petition is dismissed. However, if the petitioner files appeals before the Appellate Authority within a period of fifteen days from today against the impugned Assessment Orders, the Appellate Order shall proceed to decide the appeals on merit in accordance with the law without going into the question of delay if any. For fifteen days, no coercive measures shall be taken in pursuance of the Exts.P9 and P10 recovery notices.