The Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta vide its order dated 10.06.2022 in the matter of Imax Infrastructure Private Limited Vs. The Deputy Commissioner, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and Enforcement, Government of West Bengal & Ors. in WPA 9752 of 2022, stayed the impugned order observing that alternative remedy is not always a bar where an order or action of an officer is without jurisdiction or there is violation of principles of natural justice.
The Petitioner has filed the present writ petition challenging the order dated 3rd March 2022 passed by the Deputy Commissioner of Revenue, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and Enforcement passed under Section 74(9) of the State GST Act, on the ground that the same is without jurisdiction as he cannot act as an officer under the State GST Act.
- That to support its stand, Notification dated 12th February 2019 was relied upon on the behalf of the petitioner.
- On the other hand, defending the jurisdiction of the DRI officer, Section 4, Section 5 of the State GST as well as notification dated 8th March, 2019 and 29th March, 2019 was relied upon on the behalf of the respondent. The maintainability of writ petition was also in question on the ground of availability of alternative remedy of appeal.
- The Hon’ble Court after considering the submissions from the both sides, found that the argument advanced on the behalf of the respondents that ‘writ petition is not maintainable due to availability of alternative remedy’ is not sustainable.
- It was held that alternative remedy is not always a bar and particularly when the question of jurisdiction is involved in the writ petition and the writ court is very much empowered to entertain the writ petition if an order or action of an officer is without jurisdiction or there is a violation of principle of natural justice or constitutional validity of a provision of law is involved.
- Further the petitioner has been able to make out a case that the issue involved in the present Writ petition is of jurisdiction of the officer concerned who has exercised the power of a GST Officer and since interpretation of several provisions of law and notifications are involved, this writ petition cannot be thrown out at the motion stage on the ground of availability of alternative remedy and this writ petition has to be heard and decided on merit.
The Hon’ble Court with the above findings granted conditional stay of the impugned order dated 3rd March, 2022, subject to deposit of 10% of the demand by the petitioner within 10 days of the date of the order and if such amount is deposited within the time stipulated time, no coercive action shall be taken against the petitioner for recovery of impugned demand.
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