15.06.2022: Order passed on the day when notice was issued, leds to breach of the principle of natural justice: Gujarat High Court

gujarat-high-courtThe Gujarat High Court in the case of M/s MBR Flexibles Ltd. Versus Deputy Commissioner of State Tax in R/Special Civil Application No. 5938 of 2022, Order dated 08.06.2022, has quashed the order under GST on the grounds that the notice as well as the order were passed on the same date, denying the opportunity of hearing to the assessee. 

The petitioner/assessee is a private limited company engaged in the business of flexible packaging materials. The petitioner received a notice dated 06.01.2022 under section 129(3) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, calling upon the petitioner to explain why the penalty could not be levied and asked the petitioner to appear before the authorities on 13.01.2022. The petitioner received an order dated 06.01.2022, i.e., on the date when the notice was issued, by which, the petitioner was called upon to remain present before the authorities on 13.01.2022. Without giving an opportunity of hearing, the authorities passed the order on the same day when the notice was issued.

The learned advocate appearing for the petitioner contended that ​​the respondent had passed the order without giving the petitioner an opportunity of being heard. It is clear that the authorities have passed the Order that on the date of issuance of the Notice itself. The petitioner was not heard before the order was passed, and therefore, it was a case of a breach of the principles of natural justice, having not offered an opportunity of hearing before the authorities.

The Hon’ble Gujarat High Court held that an opportunity of hearing had not been afforded to the petitioners and, therefore, it was in breach of principles of natural justice.

“We are of the opinion that the petition requires consideration and hence, the same is allowed. The order dated 06/01/2022 passed by respondent is hereby quashed and set aside. The petitioner shall appear before the authority within a period of three weeks from the date of receipt of this order. Thereafter, the authority shall pass order afresh in accordance with law and after examining the material, which may be placed by the petitioner. Rule is made absolute accordingly,” the court said. 

 

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