25 March 2022 4:01 AM GMT
The Andhra Pradesh High Court bench of Justice U. Durga Prasad Rao and Justice J. Uma Devi has quashed the order rejecting the GST appeal which was not filed electronically.The petitioner/assessee preferred a statutory appeal against the assessment orders passed by the department. As Rule 108 of the Andhra Pradesh Goods and Service Tax Rules (APGST Rules) permits filing of...
The Andhra Pradesh High Court bench of Justice U. Durga Prasad Rao and Justice J. Uma Devi has quashed the order rejecting the GST appeal which was not filed electronically.
The petitioner/assessee preferred a statutory appeal against the assessment orders passed by the department. As Rule 108 of the Andhra Pradesh Goods and Service Tax Rules (APGST Rules) permits filing of an appeal electronically, the petitioner had attempted to file the appeal electronically, but it was not received by the Department Website due to some glitches. Therefore, the petitioner filed the same manually with the department and obtained an acknowledgement.
However, the department issued an appeal rejection order on the sole ground that the appeal was not filed by the assessee electronically.
Counsel for the petitioner argued that the order of rejection was contrary to Rule 108 of the APGST Rules, 2017 as the rule gives liberty to an assessee to file an appeal with the required forms and relevant documents "either electronically or otherwise as may be notified by the Chief Commissioner". As long as the Chief Commissioner did not notify any particular form for filing an appeal, the concerned appellant was at liberty to file the appeal by choosing either mode.
Counsel for the petitioner further submitted that the assessee tried to upload the appeal electronically through the website of the department, but since he was not fructified due to some technical glitches, he resorted to the manual mode and the same was accepted by the office of the department. The department's rejection of the appeal was solely on the basis that it was not filed electronically, which was unjust and illegal.
On the other hand, the counsel for the department argued that three check memos were issued to the assessee to comply with the defects in his appeal, but without first rectifying the defects and electronically uploading the appeal, the appellant has resorted to the writ petition, which is untenable. When the assessee complies with the conditions narrated in Rule 108(1) of the APGST Rules, 2017, i.e., files the appeal with the required documents and forms, then only the question of choosing one of the modes of filing does arise (i.e., either electronically or manually). When the assessee has not complied with the check memos, he has no right to claim that his appeal, which was filed manually, should be accepted.
The court rejected the argument of the department's counsel and noted that all the check memos were issued only after manually filing the appeal. The appellate authority has rejected the appeal not on the merits but on the sole ground that it was not filed by the assessee electronically.
The court, while allowing the appeal, directed the department to receive the appeal, process it, and, if there are any defects in the appeal, issue suitable check memos for compliance by the assessee. The petitioner shall comply with the check memos within the time prescribed and resubmit the appeal either electronically or manually. The respondent shall consider the appeal and, after hearing the petitioner, pass an appropriate order on the merits in accordance with the governing law and rules.
Case Title: Ali Cotton Mill v. Appellate Joint Commissioner
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AP) 35
Case No.: Writ Petition No. 3308 Of 2021
Counsel For Petitioner: Advocate G. Narendra Chetty
Counsel For Respondent: Advocate GP
Click Here To Read/Download Order