Orders passed under GST without hearing petitioner not sustainable

gst judgments

Kerala High Court 

Damodar Corporation Vs Union of India (Kerala High Court)

WP(C) No. 18308 of 2020

Date of Order: 12/11/2020

The petitioner has approached this Court aggrieved by Ext. P14 series of orders passed against him under the GST Act. In the Writ Petition, among the many grounds on which Ext.P14 series of orders are challenged, the primary contention is that before passing Ext.P14 series of orders, the petitioner was not heard. Taking note of the said submission and finding that in the absence of a hearing extended to the petitioner the impugned orders would be vitiated by a non-compliance with the rules of natural justice, I enquired with the learned Government Pleader as to whether there was actually a hearing extended to the petitioner or not. The learned Government Pleader would submit, on instructions, that while notices were issued to the petitioner calling him for a personal herring, and the petitioner had submitted a reply and sought for an adjournment, the officer concerned had proceeded to consider the reply offered by the petitioner on merits and pass final orders, without granting a further opportunity of hearing to the petitioner.

2.  I have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned Government Pleader for the respondents.

3.  On a consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case and the submissions made across the Bar, I find that inasmuch as the impugned orders were passed without hearing the petitioner, the said orders cannot be legally sustained inasmuch as they have been passed in violation of the rules of natural justice. Accordingly, I quash Ext.P14 series of orders and direct the 7th respondent to pass fresh orders in lieu thereof, after hearing the petitioner. I also make it clear that the 7th respondent shall consider the objections raised by the petitioner with regard to jurisdiction, and the orders passed by him shall reflect a consideration of each of those objections raised by the petitioner on jurisdiction, as well as on the merits of the case. The 7th respondent shall pass fresh orders as directed within three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment. To enable the 7th respondent to do so, I direct the petitioner to appear before the 7th respondent at his office at 11 am on 27.11.2020 either through physical appearance or through video conferencing as the case may be.