Writ Petition Filed Before Hon’ble High Court Of Punjab And Haryana: M/S P.P. Automotive Pvt. Ltd., Challenging The Mechanism Of Operation Of Common GST Portal In Relation To The Filing Of Annual Return.
Provisions: As per Section 44 and Section 35 of the CGST/HGST Act read with Rule 80 of the CGST/HGST Rules, the taxpayers are required to furnish an annual return for every financial year electronically in Form GSTR-9/9A/9B as the case may be, on or before 31st December following the end of such financial year, and also those taxpayers who is required to get his accounts audited in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (5) of section 35 shall furnish, electronically, the annual return under subsection (1) along with a copy of the audited annual accounts and a reconciliation statement, reconciling the value of supplies declared in the return furnished for the financial year with the audited annual financial statement, and such other particulars as may be prescribed.
The Central Government by issuing Notification no. 39/2018-Central Tax dated 4.09.2018 notified Form GSTR-9/9A under the CGST Act. And also by issuing Notification no. 49/2018-Central Tax dated 13.09.2018 notified form GSTR-9C under Rule 80(3) of the CGST Rules.
The Central Government/Governor of Haryana by issuing Notification no. 74/2018-Central Tax dated 31.12.2018 and Notification no. 14/GST-2 dated 11.01.2019 substituted the Form GSTR-9 and Form GSTR-9C. The said notifications nowhere provide auto-population of data in table 9 of Form GSTR-9 from Form GSTR-3B.
However, the common portal by way of its offline utility has adopted its own mechanism for furnishing of annual return electronically, which mechanism is beyond the mandate of the law.
Facts of the present case:- In the present case, the Petitioner Company by mistake furnished wrong figures in the GSTR-3B returns, and could not rectify the same because of absence of proper mechanism for rectification of Form GSTR-3B. However, when the Petitioner realised its mistake, it tried to submit the rectified copies of the GSTR-3B returns to the Authorities stating that it is not able to furnish the correct figures in Form GSTR-3B because portal by adopting its own mechanism has auto-populated the figures in table 9 of Form GSTR-9 from Form GSTR-3B furnished electronically. However, no reply in this regard was received by the Petitioner.
Challenge in the petition:- In the present case, we have challenged the mechanism of operation of common portal on the ground that it has adopted its own mechanism without any authority of law and is functioning in complete contravention of, ultra-vires, and beyond the mandate of the Notification no. 74/2018-Central Tax dated 31.12.2018, and Notification 14/GST-2 dated 11.01.2019 by which the Central Government/Governor of Haryana have sub Form GSTR-9 under the CGST/HGST Act, in as much as it auto-populates the details from Form GSTR-3B and does not allow the petitioner to fill/modify/correct/rectify figures mentioned in table 9 (Part IV) of Form GSTR-9 available on common portal and therefore, does not allow the petitioner to submit correct figures in Form GSTR-9 in relation to ITC utilisation as required under the law. Hence, the said mechanism of operation is unlawful, illegal, without authority of law, unreasonable and violates Article 14 and 19 of the Constitution of India.
That the Petitioner has also challenged the inaction on the part of the Respondents as despite various requests made to them seeking solution for rectifications/corrections of Forms GSTR-3B, no solution has been provided yet.
Order passed by the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court:- The Hon’ble High Court in the said petition was pleased to issue notice to the Respondents, and has also directed the Respondents to make correction of mechanism of operation of the Common Portal in consonance with Notification no. 74/2018-Central Tax dated 31.12.2018 and Notification 14/GST-2 dated 11.01.2019 by which the Central Government/Governor of Haryana have notified the Form GSTR-9 i.e. an annual return , and also to accept the rectified copies of Form GSTR-3B as submitted by the Company.
Case argued by:- Advocate Puneet Agrawal, Partner, ALA Legal.