Madras HC directed revenue department to permit the assessee’s to download ‘C’ forms in post GST regime

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Facts:

M/s. Shir Varalakshmi Company (“the Petitioner”) making inter-state purchases of  High-Speed Diesel Oil on concessional rate of tax at 2% by way of ‘C’ forms.

After the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (“GST”), the petitioner continued to purchase High-Speed Diesel Oil, but, however, they could not download the ‘C’ forms. When the petitioner enquired with the revenue department, the petitioner was informed that after introduction of GST regime on and with effect from July 1, 2017, the petitioner was not entitled to make purchase of High-Speed Diesel Oil from other States on concessional rate of tax i.e., at 2% and therefore, the Department’s site has been blocked to deny access to the petitioner and other similarly placed persons from downloading ‘C’ forms.

As in the present case,  the  aforesaid issue came up for consideration before another Judge of the Madras High Court in a case M/s. Ramco Cements Ltd. v. Commr. of Commercial Taxes [2018] 99 taxmann.com 20 (Mad.) (“Ramco Cements“) and another case M/s. Southern Cotspinners Coimbatore (P.) Ltd. [W.P. No. 12520 of 2019, dated April 26, 2019] wherein the High Court allowed the writ petitions filed by the assessee and directed the revenue department to permit the assessees to download the ‘C’ Forms.

Issue involved:

Whether in view of cases Ramco Cements and Southern Cotspinners Coimbatore (P.) Ltd., wherein the High Court directed revenue department to permit assessees to download ‘C’ Forms, the revenue department were to be directed to take forthwith necessary action in this regard?

Held:

The High Court of Madras under W.P. No. 15233 of 2019 and W.M.P No. 15213 of 2019 dated June 4, 2019 noted and directed as under:

There is no dispute or disagreement that the instant writ petition falls clearly within the four corners of Ramco Cements case as well as the aforesaid order of another Hon’ble Single Judge in ‘Southern Cotspinners Coimabatore Private Limited’. The most relevant paragraphs are paragraphs 5 and 6 of Southern Cotspinners Coimabatore (P.) Ltd. case and the same read as follows:

  • ‘5. In such circumstances, till such time the order of this court in the case of M/s. Ramco Cements Ltd. (supra) is either stayed or reversed it is incumbent upon all Assessing Authorities within the State of Tamil Nadu to apply the rationale of the decision to all pending assessments. The Petitioner in this Writ Petition has stated on affidavit that it is unable to download the ‘C’ forms from the websites as the same stand blocked from use. Upon enquiry with the Assessing Authorities, they have been informed that the benefit of the decision in M/s Ramco Cements Ltd can be extended only to those dealers that are party to the decision. This stand is unacceptable in so far as the decision of this Court as well as other High Courts, one of which has been confirmed by the Supreme Court, are decisions in Remco Cement, applicable to all dealers that seek benefit thereunder, of course, in accordance with law.
  • ‘6. In the aforesaid circumstances and in the light of the order passed above, this Writ Petition is allowed. Consequently, necessary action to be taken by the department, forthwith. No costs. Connected Miscellaneous Petition is closed.’

Thus, in the light of the narrative supra and in the light of the trajectory, which this matter has taken at the admission stage, it follows as a natural sequitur that the instant writ petition stands allowed. Consequently, necessary action has to be taken by the revenue department forthwith which in any case shall not be more than 5 working days from the date of receipt of copy of order.

Citation: [2019] 107 taxmann.com 410 (Madras)