Case Law Details

Case Name : Abdus Sami Saifi Vs Union of India (Rajasthan High Court)
Appeal Number : D.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 892/2024
Date of Judgement/Order : 18/01/2024
Related Assessment Year :

Abdus Sami Saifi Vs Union of India (Rajasthan High Court)

Rajasthan HC to decide on validity of Notification relating to Amnesty Scheme for filing of Appeals and Section 107(4) of the CGST Act

Introduction: The recent case of Abdus Sami Saifi vs. Union of India before the Rajasthan High Court has raised questions about the validity of Notification No. 53/2023 and Section 107(4) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (CGST Act). The petitioner challenges the restriction on the Appellate Authority’s right to condone appeal delays and the rationale behind the extended limitation period mentioned in the Notification.

The Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court heard the case of Abdus Sami Saifi v. Union of India and Ors. [Civil Writ Petition No. 892/2024] on January 18, 2024, wherein the Petitioner has questioned the validity of Notification No. 53/2023 dated November 2, 2023 (“the Notification”) and provisions of Section 107(4) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (“the CGST Act”).

The Counsel for the Petitioner contended that the provisions of Section 107(4) of the CGST Act restrict the right of the Appellate Authority to condone the delay in filing of appeal by one month only. Also, the date stated in the Notification i.e. March 31, 2023, which provides for extended period of limitation in cases where the orders have been passed before the aforesaid date, has no rationale, as in several other cases the orders were passed even after March 31, 2023, in those cases also the appeals had already become barred by the limitation.

The Hon’ble High Court passed the interim order wherein the Hon’ble High Court directed that the recovery of the amount as stated in the demand would be stayed if the Petitioner deposits 12.5 percent of the tax amount in dispute and for the rest of the amount the Petitioner is required to submit solvent security.

The Matter has been listed for further hearing on February 21, 2024.

Relevant Provision:

Section 107(4) of the CGST Act:

“Section 107. Appeals to Appellate Authority

(4) The Appellate Authority may, if he is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from presenting the appeal within the aforesaid period of three months or six months, as the case may be, allow it to be presented within a further period of one month.”

FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT

1. Learned counsel submits that an advance copy of the petition has been served on learned counsel appearing for the respondents.

2. Further submissions have been made that the petitioner has questioned the validity of provisions of Section 107(4) of the CGST/RGST Act, 2017 (‘the Act’) as well as notification dated 02.11.2023 issued under Section 148 of the Act.

3. Submissions have been made that the provisions of Section 107(4) of the Act restricts the right of the appellate authority to condone the delay in filing appeal by one month only and that though, notification dated 02.11.2023 has been issued inter alia providing for extended period of limitation in cases where the orders have been passed on or before 31.03.2023, the said date has no rationale, inasmuch as, when the order was issued on 02.11.2023, in several other cases where the orders were passed even after 31.03.2023, in those cases also the appeals had already become barred by limitation.

4. Further submissions have been made that petitioner is prepared to deposit 121/2 % amount of the ‘tax in dispute’ in terms of the notification dated 02.11.2023 (Annex-4).

5. Learned counsel appearing for the respondents prays for time to complete their instructions in the matter/file reply.

6. Time prayed for is allowed.

7. List the petition on 2 1.02.2024.

8. In the meanwhile and till the next date, in case the petitioner deposits 12.5% of the amount of ‘tax in dispute’ within a period of one week, the recovery of/action qua rest of the amount pursuant to the demand dated 21.07.2023 (Annex-2) shall remain stayed.

9. For the rest of the amount, the petitioner would submit solvent security to the satisfaction of Assistant Commissioner, State Tax, Circle-D, Ward-2, Jodhpur Zone-I.

10. As the interim order has been passed in presence of learned counsel for the respondents, they would be free to seek vacation of the interim order after filing response to the writ petition.

Conclusion: The Rajasthan High Court’s examination of Section 107(4) of the CGST Act and the related Amnesty Scheme Notification reflects a crucial legal challenge. The petitioner’s contention raises questions about the fairness and practicality of the imposed limitations, emphasizing the need for a thorough reconsideration of the relevant provisions. As the case unfolds, it may set precedents impacting how appeals are handled under the CGST Act.

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(Author can be reached at info@a2ztaxcorp.com)

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