Relief to Hitachi Systems: Madras HC sets aside GST DRC-07 Order Due to Lack of Document Response Opportunity with Pre-Deposit Conditions [Read Order]

The Madras High Court, while granting relief to Hitachi Systems India, set aside the Goods and Services Tax ( GST ) DR C -07 order due to lack of opportunity to respond with relevant documents.  A Single bench of Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy has stated that ‘as regards the above defects, it appears that the assessment order was issued without providing a reasonable opportunity to the petitioner to respond to the respective defects by placing relevant documents on record. Solely for such reason, the impugned order calls for interference.’

The petitioner, Hitachi Systems India Private Limited received an intimation on 23.01.2023 with regard to about 12 alleged defects. Such intimation was replied to on 13.02.2023. Thereafter, a show cause notice was issued on 07.03.2023 and replied to on 13.03.2023. The impugned order was issued in the above facts and circumstances on 20.12.2023. The counsel for the petitioner emphasised two specific defects mentioned in the impugned order. Firstly, defect number 12 was challenged, with the petitioner contending that they were unable to understand the basis for the specified amounts in the show cause notice.

Secondly, defect number 2 was contested, with the petitioner asserting that they had provided invoices to prove zero-rated sales and would have produced additional requested documents if requested. However, the respondent’s counsel argued that the petitioner’s responses were duly considered in issuing the impugned order. Yet, it was noted that the operative portion of the order seemed to disregard the petitioner’s explanations and documentation provided. Therefore, he submits that no interference is warranted.

The court ordered the impugned order to be set aside and the matter to be remanded for reconsideration, subject to the petitioner remitting 10% of the disputed tax demand within two weeks. Additionally, the petitioner was granted permission to submit additional documents supporting their response to the show cause notice. Upon receipt of these documents and the remittance, the assessing officer was directed to provide a fair opportunity to the petitioner, including a personal hearing, and issue a fresh order within two months. In conclusion, the writ petition was disposed of without any costs awarded.

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