Patna HC quashes GST dept’s Demand Order as no fair opportunity of Hearing granted

The Patna High Court in the case of Sky Vision Media Private Limited v/s The State of Bihar and Ors. quashed the Demand Order passed by the GST department for not granting fair opportunity of Hearing. 

Advocate, Mr. Gautam Kumar Kejriwal and Advocate, Mr.Pawan Kumar Singh, appearing for the Petitioner assailed the ex-parte order and summary of order in form GST DRC 07 under rule 142 (5) of the Bihar Goods And Services Tax Rules, 2017 passed and issued by the Assistant Commissioner of State Taxes under section 73 (1) of the Bihar Goods And Services Tax Act, 2017 wherein for the tax period 2019-20, a demand of Rs.34,32,721 has been raised.

On the other hand, Mr.Vivek Prasad, counsel for the Revenue, stated that he has no objection if the matter is remanded to the Assessing Authority for deciding the case afresh. Also, the case shall be decided on merits. Also, during pendency of the case, no coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioner.

The division bench comprising the Chief Justice and Justice S. Kumar while quashing the order passed by Assistant Commissioner of State Taxes analysed the situation in the case and noted that notwithstanding the statutory remedy, is not precluded from interfering where, ex facie, it formed an opinion that the order is bad in law for two reasons. Firstly, violation of principles of natural justice, i.e. Fair opportunity of hearing. No sufficient time was afforded to the petitioner to represent his case. Secondly, order passed ex parte in nature, does not assign any sufficient reasons even decipherable from the record, as to how the officer could determine the amount due and payable by the assessee. The order, ex parte in nature, passed in violation of the principles of natural justice, entails civil consequences. 

“We also direct for de-freezing or de-attaching of the bank account(s) of the writ-petitioner, if attached in reference to the proceedings, subject matter of present petition. This shall be done immediately,” the court added.

Click Here To Read Original Order /Judgement

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