Is Service of SCN in GST By Email Sufficient? Case Compilation

jurishour, GST

What qualifies as a legitimate service of the show cause notice under Central Excise/Service Tax has always been a point of contention between taxpaying citizens and the taxing authorities.

The origin of the dispute is obvious; following an invalid service, the proceedings are declared invalid from the start, and given the law’s requirements regarding the time period for assessments, this invalidation frequently renders the tax administration’s attempt to encapsulate the charge against the tax-payer ineffective.

As a result, the tax-payer is frequently tempted to complain about service issues brought on by the tax administration and clear their name of responsibility.

Hereinbelow are some case laws which clarifies that service of Show Cause Notice in Central Excise/Service Tax By Email is not Sufficient.

  1. Kerala High Court: K.U.Niyas Vs the Assistant Commissioner

The Kerala High Court has held that as per Section 169(c) and (d) of the GST Act the service of any communication to the e-mail address provided by an assessee at the time of registration, as also by making available the communication in the common portal of the department, is to be treated as an effective communication under the statute.

  1. Shyam Baba Edible Oils Vs Chief Commissioner and another: Madhya Pradesh High Court

The Madhya Pradesh High Court that if mandatory procedures as per rule not followed the orders passed are bad in law under GST. The court noted that the State in its reply has provided no material to show that show-cause notice/order was uploaded on the website of revenue. In fact, AAG fairly concedes that the show-cause notice/order was communicated to the petitioner by email and was not uploaded on the website of the revenue. 

While allowing the petition, the court held that statutory procedure prescribed for communicating show-cause notice/order under Rule 142(1) of CGST Act having not been followed by the revenue, the impugned demand pertaining to the financial year 2018-2019 and tax period April 2018 to March 2019 deserves to be and is struck down.

  1. Jabir Hasan Vs Assistant Commissioner of State Tax GST: Uttarakhand High Court

The Uttarakhand High Court has held that Rule 68 of Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 provides for notice to the non filers of returns – a notice in form GSTR – 3A shall be issued electronically to a registered person who fails to furnish return under Section 39 or Section 44 or Section 45 or Section 52.  if enactment or legislation prescribes a particular procedure to conduct business affairs, then it has to be followed. The order was passed without issuing electronic notice to the petitioner but by issuing registered postal notice.

  1. re Cognizance for Extension of Limitation: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court held that Service of notices, summons and exchange of pleadings/documents, is a requirement of virtually every legal proceeding. Service of notices, summons and pleadings etc. have not been possible during the period of lockdown because this involves visits to post offices, courier companies or physical delivery of notices, summons and pleadings. We, therefore, consider it appropriate to direct that such services of all the above may be affected by e-mail, FAX, commonly used instant messaging services, such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal etc. However, if a party intends to effect service by means of said instant messaging services, we direct that in addition thereto, the party must also effect service of the same document/documents by e-mail, simultaneously on the same date.

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