Introduction: In a recent ruling by the Rajasthan High Court, a non-speaking order passed by the Appellate Authority under Section 107 of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act was set aside. The petitioner had raised concerns about the lack of reasoning in the order and the failure to address the grounds of the appeal.
Detailed Analysis: The petitioner in this case challenged an order dated 28th April 2023, issued by the Appellate Authority under Section 107 of the GST Act. The primary contention raised by the petitioner was that the impugned order was a “non-speaking order.” A non-speaking order is one that lacks any reasoning, explanation, or justification for the decision taken.
Upon reviewing the order and considering the arguments presented by the petitioner’s counsel, the court found that the order in question was indeed a non-speaking order. The court highlighted that the order did not provide any reasons for the decision, nor did it address the grounds raised in the appeal.
In light of these findings, the court ruled to set aside the impugned order. The matter was remanded back to the Appellate Authority for a fresh decision. The Appellate Authority was instructed to thoroughly consider the grounds of appeal and provide a reasoned decision. Additionally, the court imposed a time frame for the Appellate Authority to make its decision, mandating that it be done within two months from the date of the appearance of the parties before it, which was fixed as 16th October 2023.
Conclusion: The Rajasthan High Court’s decision to set aside the non-speaking order by the GST Appellate Authority underscores the importance of providing clear and reasoned decisions in legal matters. Such decisions ensure transparency, fairness, and accountability in the application of tax laws. This ruling serves as a reminder of the judicial system’s commitment to upholding the principles of justice and due process in matters related to taxation.
FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT
1. Learned counsel for the petitioner contends that order impugned dated 28.04.2023 (Annexure-12) passed by the Appellate Authority under Section 107 of the Goods and Services Tax Act is a non-speaking order. That apart, the reasons have not been given whatsoever, nor the grounds have been dealt with in the appeal.
2. On going through the said order when the counsel for the respondents was unable to rebut the said assertion, we find that the order need to be set aside being a non-speaking order.
3. Ordered accordingly.
4. The impugned order dated 28.04.2023 (Annexure-12) is set aside. The matter is remanded back to the Appellate Authority for fresh decision after considering the grounds of appeal and dealing with them. The decision be taken by the Appellate Authority within a period of two months from the date of appearance of the parties before it, which is fixed as 16.10.2023.
5. With these observations, the writ petition stands disposed of.