Bombay HC set aside order rejecting GST Refund Application
The Bombay High Court directed the department to accept the GST Refund Application as the period of limitation fell between the period excluded by the Supreme Court.
The Petitioner, Saiher Supply Chain Consulting filed the first refund application for the period July 2018 to September 2018 on 21st August 2020 online on the GST portal. The said application however was rejected by the Respondent on the ground that there were certain deficiencies in the said application. The Petitioner thereafter filed second refund application on 8th September 2020. The Respondent rejected the said second refund application by pointing out deficiency by Order dated 23rd September 2020. The Petitioner thereafter filed third refund application on 30th September 2020. The Respondent however rejected the said third refund application by Order on the ground that the said application was time barred. The Petitioner filed this Writ Petition inter-alia praying for restoration of the third refund application and for various other reliefs.
The petitioner pointed out the impugned Order passed by the Respondent on 26th November 2020 rejecting the third refund application filed by the Petitioner on the ground of time barred refund application.
It was further pointed out that the Order passed by the Supreme Court on 23rd March 2020 in Re Cognizance for Extension of Limitation in Suo Motu Writ Petition (Civil) No. 3 of 2020 which reads “To obviate such difficulties and to ensure that lawyers/litigants do not have to come physically to file such proceedings in respective Courts/Tribunals across the country including this Court, it is hereby ordered that a period of limitation in all such proceedings, irrespective of the limitation prescribed under the general law or Special Laws whether condonable or not shall stand extended w.e.f. 15th March 2020 till further order/s to be passed by this Court in present proceedings.”
The division bench of Justice S.M.Modak and Justice R.D.Dhanuka held that the Respondent is also bound by the said Order dated 23rd March 2020 and the Order dated 23rd September 2021 and is required to exclude the period of limitation falling during the said period. Since the period of limitation for filing the third refund application fell between the said period 15th March 2020 and 2nd October 2021, the said period stood excluded. The third refund application filed by the Petitioner thus was within the period of limitation prescribed under the said Circular dated 18th November 2019 read with Section 54(1) of the Central Goods and Services Act, 2017. The impugned Order passed by the Respondent is contrary to the Order passed by the Supreme Court and thus deserves to be quashed and set-aside.