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An order issued on the same day as the notice resulted in a violation of the principle of natural justice: Gujarat High Court

The Gujarat High Court on 8th June 2022 quashed the GST order on the grounds that the notice and order were issued on the same date, depriving the assessee of the right to be heard, through the division bench of Justice A. J. Desai and Justice Bhargav D. Karia in the case of M/S MBR Flexible Ltd. vs Deputy Commissioner of State Tax (Enforcement) Division 1 (Special Civil Application No. 5938 of 2022).

 

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The petitioner had filed the present petition under Articles 226 & 227 of the Constitution of India. The petitioner/assessee is a private limited company that manufactures and sells flexible packaging materials. A notice was issued to the petitioner under Section 129(3) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act of 2017. The notification asked that the petitioner explain why the penalty could not be levied and that the petitioner appears before the authorities on 13.01.2022. The petitioner got an order dated 06.01.2022, i.e., the date the notice was issued, ordering the petitioner to appear before the authorities on 13.01.2022. The order was issued on the same day that the notice was issued, without any opportunity for a hearing.

The petitioner further contended that the respondent issued the order without providing an opportunity to be heard. The Notice, as well as the order issued by the authorities on the same date as the Notice was issued. So, the petitioner was not heard before the order was issued, it was a case of a violation of natural justice principles, as he was not given an opportunity to be heard before the authorities.

JUDGEMENT:

The division bench was of the opinion that the petition required consideration and hence allowed it. The respondent’s order dated 06.01.2022 was quashed and set aside. The petitioner was ordered to appear before the authority within 3 weeks of receiving this order. Following that, the authority must issue a new order in conformity with the law and after reviewing any material submitted by the petitioner.

The court thus held that the petitioners had not been given an opportunity to be heard, which violated natural justice principles.

Accordingly, the petition was allowed.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NIDHI KUMAR

 

 

Read the full judgement.

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