The Delhi High Court AB Enterprises vs. Commissioner of Delhi Goods and Services Tax [W.P. (C) 7919/2023 dated 21.11.2023] held that Refund Application cannot be rejected for the requirement of documents beyond the scope of Rule 89(2) of the CGST Rules.
AB Enterprises (hereinafter referred to as the “Petitioner”) had filed an application on 24.03.2022, for the refund of the unutilized Input Tax Credit (hereinafter referred to as “ITC”) in respect of zero rated supplies made in December 2021, claiming the amount of Rs 54,86,530/- (Rupees Fifty Four Lakhs Eighty Six Thousand Five Hundred Thirty Only). The Petitioner had attached the documents namely RFD01, Statement 3, Computation of refund claimed statement, Declaration under 54(3)(ii), Undertaking 16(2)(e), section 42 of SGST/CGST 91(1) of CGST Act,2017 and a Statement mentioning details of invoices and shipment bills, along with the Refund Application.
The Petitioner’s Refund Application was not processed by the Commissioner of Delhi Goods and Services Tax (hereinafter referred to as the “Respondent”) and a communication dated 06.04.2022 was issued stating the deficiencies that relevant documents were not attached and supporting documents attached were incomplete (hereinafter referred to as the “Impugned Communication”).
Therefore, aggrieved by the impugned communication and non-process of the Refund Application, the Petitioner has filed the present Petition.
CONTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES
The Petitioner contended that all the documents as required under Rule 89(2) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as the “CGST Rules”) had already been filed. Hence, the Refund Application cannot be considered to be deficient.
It was further argued that the Impugned Communication was bereft of any specific details and hence, ex facie not in conformity with the provisions of the CGST Rules. Moreover, the Impugned Communication has not been issued by a competent officer.
The Respondent contended that the Petitioner had not attached important supporting documents s namely the Shipping Bills/transport bills, copies of the invoices, statement of 3B , CA audit certificate, Undertaking Rule 96B of GST Rules and BRC along with the Refund Application. Hence, the Refund Application was not processed.
ISSUES BEFORE THE HIGH COURT
1. Whether the deficiencies pointed out in the Impugned Communication were beyond the scope of Rule 89(2) of the CGST Rules?
2. Whether the Refund Application filed by the Petitioner was in accordance with the provision of Rule 89(2) of the CGST Rules? are entitled to the refund amount claimed by them in the present petition.
DECISION AND FINDINGS
The Delhi High Court opined that the Impugned Communication was bereft of any specific details, as it neither sets out the relevant documents that were not provided by the Petitioner nor does it indicate the incomplete documents.
It was further observed that the Refund Application of the Petitioner cannot be termed to be deficient, as it was accompanied by all the documents as specified in Rule 89(2) of the CGST Rules.
The Delhi High Court relied on National Internet Exchange of India vs. Union of India & Ors. [ Neutral Citation No. 2023:DHC:6002-DB] and directed the Respondent to verify the Refund Application of the Petition and issue an acknowledgment in terms of Rule 90 of the CGST Rules and disposed of the Petition..
The Delhi High Court has highlighted two aspects of the CGST Act in the present case. Firstly, any officer cannot traverse beyond the legal provisions and demand documents for refund of the ITC which the taxpayer is entitled under the law. Further, any communication which is bereft of any particular or specific details is not only bad in law, but also in violation of principles of natural justice.
– Team AMLEGALS
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