Delay in statutory fund constitution causing inconvenience to public : Delhi High Court
This issue cropped up when the petitioner filed an application to seek permission for depositing money with the Central Consumer Welfare Fund as the state fund was not functional was dealt with by a division bench of Delhi High Court consisting of Justice Manmohan and Justice Navin Chawla in the matters between M/s Krishna Trading Company v. Union Of India & Ors. WP (C) 4954/2021 decided on 5.1.2022.
The facts of the case are that the petitioner filed an application to seek permission for depositing a sum of Rs.14,01,705 with the Central Consumer Welfare Fund as it was found that State Consumer Welfare Fund is not functional yet.The bench had also issued notice to the Chief Secretary of the Delhi Government previously expressing their concerns over still not having a functional State Consumer Welfare Fund.
The applicant contended that Pursuant to the High Court’s order dated August 18, 2021, the company was directed to deposit the profit amount 50:50 to the Central Consumer Welfare Fund and to the State Consumer Welfare Fund according to rule 133 (3)(c) CGST Rules, 2017. As the Delhi Government Consumer Welfare Fund is not yet operational in the State, subsequent installments to the Central Fund were not accepted due to non-payment towards State Consumer Welfare Fund. However, he pointed out that the first and second installments deposited in the Central Consumer Welfare were accepted.
The respondent contended that it has been stated that the amount for Delhi Consumer Welfare Fund can be obtained from the Registered Firm via Demand Draft in favor of the Commissioner, Trade and Taxes, upon instruction from the Deputy Controller of Accounts, Department of Commerce and Taxes. Department, Government of Delhi NCT.Assurance was also given that the fund shall be constituted and functional within 4 weeks time.
The Delhi High Court held that the delay in the establishment of the State Consumer Welfare Fund is a violation of the law that offends the general public.The fact that the State Consumer Welfare Fund is a statutory fund that urgently needs to be constituted.The delay of its constitution is a violation of the statute and causes disturbances to the public in general. The gap-stop arrangements now proposed by GNCTD in its status report have not been upheld by statute and cannot be upheld by the Court.
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Judgement reviewed by Bhaswati Goldar