Goods and Service Tax (GST) throughout its long journey before gaining its position in Indian taxation laws have always highlighted the advantage of free flow of credit. Wherein credit pertaining to erstwhile law shall also be allowed to business on successfully filling of the statements as prescribed in Chapter 20 of CGST Act’ 2017 and within the given time frame. But unfortunately the new statue paving its way didn’t get adequate technical support and IT infrastructure keeping in view the no of taxpayers. Which is still in ambiguity as we are on the verge of celebrating 3rd Anniversary of the GST implementation in the country.
A. Facts of the Case:
1. Petitioner availing the benefit of carrying forward the pending CENVAT or ITC pertaining to erstwhile law intended to file TRAN-1 under Sec. 140 of CGST Act ‘2017 being a compliant taxpayer.
2.Multiple attempts have been done in this respect to file the statement before the stipulated or extended time period with the deadline of 27 Dec 2017.
3. But due to technical glitches and heavy load on the portal, the same could not be filled and portal showed errors while filling.
4. Efforts were made continuously to resolve the issue with help of GST help desk or call centre but resolution was made available
5. Relevant screenshots and emails were made available to demonstrate that portal was having technical issues due to which the form could not be uploaded.
6. Thus petitioner was not able to file the claim in GST TRAN-1 with transitional credit of Rs.1, 74, 71,030.67 being a substantial amount for its business.
7. Further petitioner was not able to file its monthly return as well due to non-filling of TRAN-1
8. Also Petitioners had paid an amount of Rs.33, 45,790/- solely because they were not allowed the transactional credit.
B. Plea Made: Petitioners plea before the Hon’ble High Court to allow filling of GST TRAN-1 online or accept the form manually so as to avail the transitional credit (TC) of Rs.1, 74, 71,030.67 being a substantial undisputed amount.
C. Held That:
1. The Hon’ble Court did not comment on the viability of the fact that whether the Petitioner have faced difficulty in filling the TRAN-1 and availing the transitional credit.
2. The fact that the amount involved was a substantial sum & it was never denied the by the revenue that the same was undisputed and petitioner can legally use the sum to discharge of its tax liability
3. Further the fact that there have been numerous glitches on the GST Portal is inevitable & in reality many taxpayers have faced difficulty in uploading the TRAN-1 Forms.
4. The Court itself as well as numerous other courts have issued orders in various cases permitting taxpayers and giving one more opportunity to either file the TRAN-1 Form electronically or manually.
5. Reference to various cases made i.e.
D. Thus in the final order dated Aug 09, 2019 it was held that revenue should open the Portal to enable the Petitioner to file its TRAN-1 Form electronically or permit it to file manually on or before 13th September, 2019
With a view to challenge the above order passed by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court, revenue filled a Special Leave Petition (SLP) against the same before the apex court. On analysing the issue Hon’ble Supreme Court held that:
1. The SLP filled by revenue shall stands dismissed i.e. not accepted and the apex court would not interfere in the ruling of the Hon’ble Delhi HC.
2. Further the question of law stands open.
In the light of the ruling of above two courts, it would not be inappropriate to mention that these court to agree that taxpayers have faced genuine hardship & technical glitches being integral part of this issue cannot be neglected by revenue & need to be closed in favour of taxpayers. Although keeping the question in law open thereby clearly indicating that the time limit for filling TRAN-1 as per CGST Law, which is also running in dispute after a recent Delhi HC Judgement, following with retrospective amendment in the law by the revenue would be again a challenging matter and would ultimately decide the fate of this long lasting issue.