A writ of certiorari can be issued only when there is an error in law: Bombay HC

TITLE : Nutan Warehousing Company Pvt.Ltd V The commissioner, Central Tax, Pune

CITATION : WP 12775 of 2019

CORAM : Hon’ble justice G.S Kulkarni & Hon’ble justice Jitendra Jain

DATE:  11th December, 2023


A writ was filed under Article 226 of the Constitution to challenge the orders passed by the Appellate Authority for Advanced Ruling for Goods and Services Tax, Maharashtra on the issue whether the petitioner would be entitled to be exempted from service tax under the Notification No.12 of 2017, pertaining to loading, unloading, packing, storage or warehousing of agricultural produce.


The petitioner company is incorporated under the Companies Act of 1956 which carried out the business of warehousing, cold storage and refrigeration. The petitioner also has licence for carrying our their business. The petitioner has let out its warehouse to Unilever India Exports Ltd on payment of compensation as per the provisions of the Bombay Warehouses Act, 1959. The warehouse was used for manufacturing and bulk storing of tea from various qualities of tea. The petitioner was in the contention that tea procured in bulk would be exempted from central tax as it a  result of agricultural produce.

The authority fir advance ruling held in the negative and stated that tea procured were already processed and are undertaking the process of further manufacturing and packaging.


The court stated that under Section 11 of the Central Goods and Services Act, the government can grant exemption from tax by passing a notification. The order of the AAR stating tea was a dried product is flawed.

It was held by the court that a writ of certiorari can be issued only when there is failure of justice and not merely because its available. There must be an error apparent on the face of the record as the High Court acts merely in a supervisory capacity.  The writ should be issued when there is a mistake in the jurisdiction and not when there is a scrutiny of an order passed by a authority. The court found that there is a error in law in the order passed by AAR and the writ was maintained.

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Written by- Sanjana Ravichandran

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