The Delhi high court has stayed proceedings against Abbott Healthcare for charging higher GST after the company questioned the constitutional validity of the provisions as well as the National Anti-Profiteering Agency’s (NAPA’s) powers to extend the probe to its other products. Appearing before the HC bench of Justices S Muralidhar and I S Mehta, Abbott’s counsel Mukul Rohatagi said the company had undertaken to pay the demand of Rs 96 lakh, along with applicable interest, if there was no further investigation and penalty by NAPA.
The company has argued that this was way beyond the powers given to the agency under Central GST rules. Abbott had faced the penalty after an investigation based on a complaint concluded that the benefit of a change in GST on a product was not passed on to a consumer. The government had allowed anti-profiteering action against companies, which were charging higher than prescribed GST, or were not passing on the benefits of a lower levy to consumers.