In W.P.No.7390 of 2023-MAD HC- Exercise of discretion in entertaining matters even beyond period of limitation is dependent on assessee establishing justification for delay: Madras HC upholds Order cancelling GST registration
Justice Anita Sumanth [10-03-2023]


Read Order:M/s.Shree G G Enterprises Vs. The Deputy Commissioner (ST) And Ors 


LE Correspondent


Chennai, March 17, 2023:  The Madras High Court has dismissed a writ petition challenging an order of cancellation of registration and the show cause notice that preceded it.


Justice Anita Sumanth noted that  the petitioner was grossly belated in approaching this Court. 


“The preliminary road block that the petitioner would have to get past is to explain the substantial intervening delay from November, 2018, when it has, admittedly, received the show cause notice, till date”, the Bench said.


As per the Bench, the maintainability of the Writ Petition is itself subject to the petitioner having complied with the statutory timelines for availing of the remedies provided. 


Though wide discretion is available to entertain matters even beyond the period of statutory limitation, the exercise of such discretion is wholly dependent on the petitioner establishing a justification or warrant for the delay, the High Court further added.


“In this case, the affidavit filed is silent on the aspect of delay. Despite repeated probing, learned counsel for the petitioner also has no explanation to offer for the intervening delay”, the Bench remarked.


The petitioner had put forth an argument that at the time of issuance of show cause notice, he had only dues of tax relating to 3 months, hence the show cause notice was itself bad in law.


Considering the fact that the petitioner had challenged the order of cancellation of registration in first appeal, the Bench noted that at the time when the order was passed, admittedly no returns accompanied by proof of remittance of taxes had been filed for the entirety of the period, from December, 2021 till June 2022 and till date, which was far in excess of the 6 month period provided under the Statute.


On such ground, the Bench rejected the argument and also opined that the appeal had been instituted by the petitioner before the first appellate authority belatedly and hence had been dismissed by the authority on January 11,2023 as belated by a period of 2 months and 10 days beyond the statutorily provided period of 90 + 30 days.


Thus,in such circumstances and seeing that there was no justifiable explanation for the delay despite this Court repeatedly seeking such reasons, the Bench found the impugned order to be valid in law and dismissed the Writ Petition.

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