Read Order: Union of India & Ors vs M/S Vishnu Aroma Pouching Pvt Ltd & Anr

Pankaj Bajpai

New Delhi, July 8, 2021: The Supreme Court recently imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on the GST Department for belated filing of an SLP and for wastage of judicial time. 

Directing that the sum should be deposited with the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Welfare Fund within four weeks, a Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Krishna Murari observed that unacceptable delay and incompetence on part of the Revenue Department in casually preferring appeals calls for imposition of the cost on them. 

The tax payer had pleaded that after discharging their GST liability, they proposed to furnish GSTR3B, but the common portal was not running properly. 

Consequently, the tax payer company’s efforts to upload GSTR3B failed. Due to crash of system, the tax payer’s GSTR3B was accepted, but the information and details in all the columns of this return were shown as “zero” despite the fact that the tax liability for the month in question had been duly paid by the petitioner. 

The tax payer, therefore, immediately informed the concerned Assistant Commissioner in-charge of its unit about the payment and discharge of its liability and also about the inability to correct the GSTR3B return submitted on the GSTN portal. 

However, since there was no progress, the tax payer approached the High Court, which permitted them to file manually GSTR3B for August 2017 with correct and true details and directed the Revenue Department to accept and acknowledge such GSTR3B. Not satisfied, the Revenue Department knocked on the door of the Apex Court.

The top court noted that the judgment was pronounced by the High Court on November 14, 2019 and the proposal for filing the Special Leave Petition was sent after almost six months on May 20, 2020 and it took another three months to decide whether to file Special Leave Petition or not on Aug 25, 2020.

Thus, the Bench went on to state that such kind of “lethargy” on part of the revenue department, with so much computerization having been achieved, is no more acceptable. 

“Looking to the period of delay and the casual manner in which the application has been worded, we consider it appropriate to impose costs on the petitioner(s) of Rs.25,000/- for wastage of judicial time which has its own value…” the Bench said.

The Bench also directed that the said sum should be deposited with the Supreme Court Advocates On Record Welfare Fund within four weeks, and the amount is to be recovered from the officers responsible for the delay in filing the Special Leave Petition. 

0 CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment