The Hon’ble High Court of Patna vide its order dated 17th May 2022 in Rakesh Roshan Vs. State of Bihar through Commissioner of State tax, Additional Commissioner of State Tax (Appeal), Assistant Commissioner of State Tax, Munger Circle, Munger in Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No.7187 of 2022, held that Ex-parte order passed without providing the opportunity of hearing is against the principles of natural justice.  Further, the statutory remedy is not precluded from interfering where, ex facie, the order is bad in law.

The Petitioner filed the Writ petition praying for quashing of Notice dated 19.02.2020 issued under Section 74 of the Bihar Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 raising demand for excess claim of input tax credit for the period 2018-19 and also for quashing the order dated 21.03.2020 for demand of tax & order in form DRC – 07 dated 21.03.2020.  Further, prayer was made for quashing order dated 26.03.2022 dismissing the appeal of the petitioner and the order dated 29.03.2022 in for GST DRC-13 issued by the respondents attaching the bank accounts of the petitioner.

That in the instant matter the petitioner has prayed for setting aside and quash the notice dated 19.02.2020 issued by the Assistant Commissioner, order dated 21.03.2020 Assistant Commissioner of State Tax, Munger, Bhagalpur, Bihar & Summary of order in form DRC 07, order in form GST APL -04 dated 28.03.2022 and the order in form GST DRC-13 dated 29.03.2022 and 30.03.2022 issued by Assistant Commissioner of State Tax, Munger Circle, Munger.

On the other hand, it was submitted on the behalf of the respondents that they have no objection if the matter is remanded back and during the pendency of the case, no coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioner.

Held:

  • The Hon’ble Court after considering the submissions from the both found that ‘notwithstanding the statutory remedy, is not precluded from interfering where, ex facie, order is bad in law, as in the instant matter fair opportunity of hearing was not granted which amounts to violation of principles of natural justice and an ex-parte order was passed without sufficient reasons for the same.
  • It was found that ex-parte order, passed in violation of principles of natural justice involves civil consequences. In the facts and circumstances of the case, the authorities should not have adjudicated the matter.  Further, even if the order is passed ex-parte, the facts and the law involved ought to have been dealt with.

The Hon’ble Court with the above findings held as under: –

  • Quashed and set aside the notice dated 19.02.2020 issued by the Assistant Commissioner of State Tax, Munger Circle, Munger; order dated 21.03.2020 passed by the Assistant Commissioner of State Tax, Munger, Bhagalpur, Bihar; summary of order in for GST DRC -07 dated 21.03.2020; order dated 26.03.2020 passed by the Additional Commissioner of State Tax (Appeal), Bhagalpur Division; order in Form GST APL-04 dated 28.03.2022; and the order in Form GST DRC-13 dated 29.03.2022 and 30.03.2022 issued by the Assistant Commissioner of State Tax, Munger Circle, Munger;
  • The amount of 10 percent, being condition prerequisite for hearing of the appeal, to be deposited if the amount is not deposited. However, if it is ultimately found that the petitioner’s deposit is in excess, the same shall be refunded within two months from the date of passing of the order;
  • The Assessing authority will decide the case on merits complying with principles of natural justice, within a period of two months of the appearance of the petitioner, and the petitioner will appear before the Assessing authority on 6th June, at 10.30 A.M.
  • The Assessing Authority shall pass a fresh order only after affording adequate opportunity to all concerned, including the writ petitioner. During pendency of the case, no coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioner;

The Hon’ble Court, as held above, disposed of the petition with a liberty to the parties to take recourse to such other remedies as are otherwise available in accordance with law.

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