27 July 2022 5:02 AM GMT
The Andhra Pradesh High Court recently dismissed a challenge to the Assessment Order issued to the Petitioner under GST Act, 2017 on the ground that there has been no violation of principles of natural justice as a notice of personal hearing was issued and the Petitioner was given the opportunity to raise objections but he never responded. Brief Facts The Writ Petition was...
The Andhra Pradesh High Court recently dismissed a challenge to the Assessment Order issued to the Petitioner under GST Act, 2017 on the ground that there has been no violation of principles of natural justice as a notice of personal hearing was issued and the Petitioner was given the opportunity to raise objections but he never responded.
The Writ Petition was filed seeking issuance of a Writ of Mandamus declaring Assessment Order passed by Assistant Commissioner/Respondent for tax period from September, 2017 to March, 2021 under GST Act, 2017 as illegal and in violation of principles of natural justice.
The Petitioner was engaged in the business of event management and a registered taxpayer under Andhra Pradesh Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.
In the month of 2018, the husband of the Petitioner suffered a paralytic stroke and was under medical treatment in a Rehabilitation Centre and as such the Petitioner claimed that she could not conduct event managements except small events upto January, 2020 for livelihood. In the month of August 2020, the husband of Petitioner again had an attack of brain paralysis and as such no business was done. As a consequence, the Petitioner applied for cancellation of GST registration. Furthermore, due to COVID from March 2020 upto August 2021, no permission was granted to conduct functions having huge gatherings.
The Assistant Commissioner/Respondent visited the premises of Petitioner Firm in November, 2021 and the Petitioner explained the above facts with details of turnovers disclosed in GSTR 3B Returns from July, 2017 to March, 2020. While so, the Assistant Commissioner issued a Show Cause Notice proposing to levy IGST Rs. 18 lakhs, CGST and SGST of Rs. 27 lakhs each for tax period from September, 2017 to March, 2021.
The Petitioner contended that from March 2020 to July 2021, no events were permitted due to COVID and the Assessment Order was passed purely based on social media postings. Furthermore, the Audit Officer without following the procedure as contemplated under SGST Act and without giving an opportunity to the Petitioner to file objections passed the Assessment Order.
Finding of the Court
Regarding the contention raised that the Petitioner was not heard and no opportunity was given to her, the Bench of Justices C. Praveen Kumar and Tarlada Rajasekhar Rao observed that this contention may not be correct as the perusal of the Order showed that the Petitioner was given the opportunity of raising objections to the notice issued. It also showed that, a notice for personal hearing was also issued pursuant to which the Petitioner sought additional time which was also granted, but the Petitioner never responded thereafter. Thus, it could not be said that there was violation of any natural justice principle.
Moreover, prima facie, the perusal of Assessment order showed that the authorities gathered information from the social media account of Petitioner which was used for promotion of business and basing on that GST was assessed.
In view of the same, the Court did not go into the factual aspects and accordingly Writ Petition was dismissed giving liberty to Petitioner to approach the Appellate Authority and avail the remedy by putting forth the grievances on the factual aspects.
Case Title: M/s.VASAVI WEDDING and EVENT PLANNERS Versus State of Andhra Pradesh
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (AP) 98
Click Here To Read/Download Order