The Hon’ble Orissa High Court, (“the High Court”) in Sri Muna Pani v. State of Odisha (W.P.(C) No. 20996 of 2022) held that entertaining Writ Petition at the stage of notice would interrupt adjudication process and frustrate tax administration. Assessee has ample opportunity to agitate issues before assessing officer. Moreover, the Goods and Services Tax (“GST”) law provides sufficient safeguards to the assessee in case assessee is not satisfied with adjudication he has opportunity to file an appeal to higher authority under GST law.
Sri Muna Pani (“the Petitioner”) is engaged in the in execution of works contract. The CT&GST Officer of Angul Circle (“the Respondent”) issued a Show Cause Notice (“SCN”) under Section 73 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (“the CGST Act”) on August 06, 2022 for determination of tax liability pertaining to the period July 2017 to May 2018 on the basis of discrepancy observed between the figures furnished by the Petitioner in the returns furnished in form GSTR-3B under Rule 61 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 (“the CGST Rules”) and the data made available in the web portal.
The Petitioner filed the writ petition stating that the issued demand cum SCN is illegal, unconstitutional and violates the fundamental rights of the petitioner, thereby such SCN should be quashed.
Whether the Petitioner can file Writ Petition prior to the adjudication for quashing the notice issued by the proper officer?
The High Court in the meter held that:
- The Petitioner has all the opportunity to contest the allegation in the SCN during the adjudication stage and rebut adverse finding/observations involved in the matter. The Petitioner may raise legal issues as well as factual issues before the Assessing Officer (“AO”) during the course of proceedings.
- The High Court held that entertaining such issues in the writ petition at the stage of notice would be premature and entertaining writ petition at early stage would be contrary to the settled principles of law as the Petitioner has ample opportunity to discuss issues before AO,
- The GST Law has provided sufficient safeguards to the Petitioner, in case the Petitioner is not satisfied with adjudication then he may opt to file an appeal under the GST law to higher authority and hence, the High Court dismissed the writ petition.
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