Supreme Court stays Gujarat HC order on pre-import conditions

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The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday agreed to hear the central government’s plea against a Gujarat High Court order quashing government notification which allowed the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to penalise exporters for wrongfully availing Goods and Services Tax (GST) exemption in specific cases where their exports preceded imports.

The apex court, while agreeing to hear the DRI’s plea, also stayed the high court order. This could mean that the department will be again able to start sending notices to importers who violate its norms under the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), experts said. The SC will next hear the case on November 8.

In February this year, the Gujarat High Court had declared the DRI notice which brought in a “pre-import” condition, that every exporter holding advance authorisation licences must follow to avail duty exemptions, as ‘ultra vires of Constitution’. “Exporters have been facing a lot of hardship in terms of the working capital issue for which advance authorisation matters had initially gone to Delhi High Court.

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