Failure to Issue Notice and Order for Attachment under TNGST Act before expiry of limitation period: Madras HC allows to file Statutory Appeal [Read Order]

The Madras High Court in a recent case, allowed to file a statutory appeal even after the limitation period expired as the goods and service tax (GST) department failed to issue notice and order for attachment under Tamil Nadu Goods and Service Tax (TNGST) Act, 2017 before expiry of the limitation period. Tvl.T.T.Textiles, the petitioner filed a writ petition to direct the 1st respondent to release the attachment made to the bank accounts of the petitioner under Section 79(1)(c) of the TNGST Act, 2017. It was stated that before the passing of the assessment order, the respondents had neither provided any opportunities for filing a reply nor provided any opportunities for personal hearing to the petitioner. The petitioner came to know about the said assessment order dated 14.06.2023 only when the final notice was physically served to him on 14.09.2023. The last date for filing the appeal has expired since the petitioner is supposed to have filed the statutory appeal on or before 14.09.2023. Thereafter, a further period of 30 days is also available if sufficient reason was provided by the petitioner for the delay in filing the appeal, in which case, the petitioner is permitted to file the returns on or before 14.10.2023. However, the said period has also expired. Hence, the petitioner filed these writ petitions challenging the impugned order and the final notice.

The counsel for the respondent would submit that the petitioner is still entitled to file the statutory appeal by approaching the appropriate Appellate Authority, in which case, the Court can grant liberty to the petitioner about the same. It was found that the respondent had neither served any notice nor provided any opportunity fora personal hearing to the petitioner. Under these circumstances, the impugned assessment order was passed by the respondent on 14.06.2023 and the petitioner came to know about the said impugned assessment order when the final notice was served to him on 14.09.2023. By this time, the limitation of filing an appeal has expired.

However, it was submitted by the counsel for the respondent that the petitioner is still entitled to file the statutory appeal before the concerned Appellate Authority. A single bench comprising Justice Krishnan Ramasamy granted liberty to the petitioner to file the appeal before the Appellate Authority within 30 days and the Appellate Authority was directed to consider the said appeal without insisting on the issue of limitation.

“In the meantime, there shall be an order of interim stay of the recovery proceedings until the filing of the appeal. As far as the attachment order is concerned, until the filing of the appeal, the petitioner is permitted to operate their bank accounts upon rendering the details, about the deposit and withdrawal made in the respective bank account and also about the utilisation of the money, which was withdrawn from those accounts, before the Authority concerned.”, the bench held. Ms. J. Jayalakshmi P appeared for the petitioner and Mr. T.N.C. Kaushik appeared for the respondent.

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