Allahabad HC imposes Penalty on GST Dept. for Unnecessary Harassment for Copy of Electricity Bill for granting GST Registration
The Allahabad High Court has imposed the penalty on the GST Department for unnecessary harassment for copying the electricity bill for granting GST Registration.
The petitioner, Ranjana Singh has been engaged in the business of providing employment through consultancy, which fall within the purview of U.P. Goods & Service Tax Act. The petitioner applied for grant of registration under the Act through online mode. On submission of the application, an inspection was made at the business premises of the petitioner and thereafter, notice was issued for providing certain information and documents in support thereof. On submission of reply, by means of the impugned order, the application of the petitioner was rejected, against which the petitioner preferred an appeal before the respondent, which too has been dismissed.
The petitioner has applied for grant of GST registration as per the provision of section 25 of the Act, read with rules 8 & 9 of the Goods & Service Tax Rules, 2017 furnishing all the requisite documents as prescribed under the Act, i.e., Adhar Card, PAN card, house tax receipt. Thereafter, on the date of inspection, all the details, as required by the Serving Officer, were provided. Thereafter, a notice was issued requiring the petitioner to submit electricity bill or house tax bill or any other document related to the business. In reply to it, information and documents as required were furnished by the petitioner, but by the impugned order, the same was rejected for non-submission of electricity bill.
The single bench of Justice Piyush Agrawal observed that all the documents as required under the Act and law as well as in compliance to the show cause notice were furnished by the petitioner and without pointing out any defect or shortcoming therein, the application should not have been rejected.
The court said that the two authorities of the State have acted only with a view to harass the petitioner which cannot be accepted at any cost. This attitude of the respondents in this petition cannot be tolerated as the officers who are State functionaries have to act fairly and their action must be in consonance with the provisions of the Acts as well as Rules.
“The writ petition is allowed with a cost of Rs. 15,000/-, which shall be deposited before the High Court State Legal Services Committee, Allahabad within a period of 20 days from today. The respondents are at liberty to recover the cost from the erring Officer,” the court noted.