Introduction: This article delves into a recent judgment by the Madras High Court concerning a writ petition challenging an order from the Assistant Commissioner (ST). The petitioner, involved in financial services, faced complications leading to delayed GST payments. The court, acknowledging the time constraints imposed by the respondent, granted a 3-month extension for the petitioner to settle the demanded interest.
Detailed Analysis: The writ petition challenged the order dated 06.10.2023, where the respondent directed the petitioner to pay Rs. 2,80,247/- as interest for delayed GST payments spanning from 2017-2018 to 2021-2022. The petitioner, citing technical glitches and practical difficulties, sought a more reasonable timeframe for payment.
The court considered the arguments of both parties and noted that the abrupt notice made it challenging for the petitioner to meet the initial 2-day deadline. The petitioner had paid only Rs. 26,667/- till date. Acknowledging the circumstances, the court extended the payment period to 3 months, outlining specific instalments: Rs. 80,000/- by 20.12.2023, Rs. 80,000/- by 20.01.2024, and Rs. 93,580/- by 20.02.2024.
The court emphasized that failure to meet these deadlines would grant the respondent the liberty to initiate recovery proceedings. This decision reflects a balanced approach, considering the petitioner’s challenges while imposing a clear timeline for compliance.
Conclusion: The Madras High Court’s judgment in the writ petition offers a nuanced resolution to the petitioner’s plea for extended time to pay GST interest. The court’s decision to grant a 3-month period, along with specified instalments, demonstrates a pragmatic understanding of the petitioner’s situation while ensuring accountability. This case serves as a precedent for balancing legal obligations with practical considerations in financial matters, providing insights into the court’s approach to such challenges.
FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF MADRAS HIGH COURT
This writ petition has been filed challenging the impugned order dated 06.10.2023 passed by the respondent.
2. Ms.E.Ranganayaki, learned Additional Government Pleader, takes notice on behalf of the respondent. By consent of the parties, the main writ petition is taken up for disposal at the admission stage itself.
3. The learned counsel for the petitioner would submit that the petitioner is in the business of rendering service to financial institutions. Due to some technical glitch and practical difficulties, there was delay in payment of GST for the years 2017-2018 to 2021-2022. Hence, a notice was issued by the respondent directing the petitioner to pay the interest of a sum of Rs.2,80,247/- for non-payment of GST in time during the relevant years within a period of 2 days. However, the petitioner had paid only a sum of Rs.26,667/- till date.
4. Further, the learned counsel for the petitioner would contend that the provision of 2 days time period is not sufficient for the petitioner, since the respondent had issued the said notice all of a sudden. Therefore, though he had sought for larger relief in this petition, he had restricted his relief to the extent to request this Court to consider the facts and circumstances and provide sufficient time for payment of amount demanded by the respondent towards interest.
5. In reply, the learned counsel for the respondent was reluctant and would submit that already a period of 1 month was expired and further, at any cost, the time limit sought by the petitioner is on higher However, she would also submit that considering the facts and circumstances, an appropriate time limit may be fixed by this Court and also the petitioner may be directed to pay the demanded amount.
6. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and the respondent and also perused the materials available on record.
7. In view of the above, it appears that the petitioner was not in a position to pay the demanded amount, since all of a sudden, the respondent had issued a notice demanding the interest of a sum of 2,80,247/-. Further, it appears that only a sum of Rs.26,667/- was paid by the petitioner till date.
8. On considering the submissions made by both the learned counsel, this Court feels that the time period of 2 days is not sufficient to make the payment of demanded amount by the petitioner. Hence, this Court is inclined to grant a period of 3 months time to the petitioner for payment of balance amount demanded by the respondent towards interest vide the following instalments:
|on or before 20.12.2023
|on or before 20.01.2024
|on or before 20.02.2024
9. It is made clear that if the petitioner had failed to make payment of amount on the aforesaid due dates, the respondent is granted liberty to initiate the recovery proceedings.
10. With the above directions, this writ petition is disposed of. No costs. Consequently, the connected miscellaneous petition is also closed.