Punjab VAT Tribunal is a very important case namely Baba Ji Rice Mills, vs. State of Punjab (2012) 41 PHT 197 (PVT) has held that once the case is hit by point of limitation,payment of 25% of the additional demand not essentially to be adjudicated.

It is notable here that as per section 62(5) of Punjab VAT Act, 2005 prior payment of 25% of additional demand is mandatory before any appeal is being heard.

In this case the assessment for the year 2005-06 was framed after the limitation period of 3 years u/s 29(4A) of Punjab VAT Act, 2005. The DETC (A) due to non-deposit of prior minimum payment of 25% in terms of section 62(5) , dismissed the appeal.

On further appeal to Tribunal it was held as under:

“In ground No. 3, in the memorandum of appeal filed before Tribunal, it has been averred that “it was argued before the appellate authority that the assessment is hit by limitation as such appellant is not required to deposit 25% of additional demand” but as would be apparent on the face of the order dated 30.11.2010 of DETC (A), this point of limitation has not been touched at all. The preceding discussion crystallises the conclusion that the assessment framed vide order dated 16.2.2010 is barred by limitation. The Ld. councel for the appellant has confined his arguments to the point of limitation only. He has not agitated any other point taken up in the grounds of appeal.Since, the appeal succeeds on the solitary point of limitation, therefore we need not to go into the discussion on any other point forming part of the grounds of appeal. Virtually the assessment order is void ab-initio, being barred by limitation.”

Thus it is clear from the order of Tribunal, once the assessment is being framed after the limitation period, there is no need to adjudicate on any other ground including that of prior payment of 25% u/s 62(5) of PVAT Act, 2005 and such assessment order will be considered as void ab-initio.

(Author – Amit Bajaj Advocate, Bajaj & Bajaj Advocates, 128, Sangam complex, Milap chowk, Jalandhar City (Punjab), Email: amit@amitbajajadvocate.com, M +919815243335)

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