Breaking: Allahabad High Court Penalised GST Officer For Demanding Unnecessary Documents For GST Registration

In the case of Ranjana Singh Vs Commissioner of State Tax, the Allahabad High Court has held that:

On perusal of the show cause notice, rejection order and the appellate order, it appears that firstly clarification with regard to the possession of business premisses was required to be specified and secondly submission of electricity bill / house tax receipt was required. The petitioner has submitted the explanation with regard to the nature or possession of the business premisses as the owner and also submitted the house tax receipt in compliance with the show cause notice. But the authorities below without whispering any word or assigning any reason had rejected the application for non-specifying possession of the business premisses and insisted for submission of electricity bill. The authorities below have further erred in law in not pointing out any defect in submission of house tax receipt and insisted for submission of electricity bill whereas the notice dated 15.9.2021 gave an option for submission of recent electricity bill or house tax receipt. Further the petitioner has explained that the property, in which the business is being undertaken, is under the ownership of the petitioner. So the other grounds also falls for non specifying the nature or possession of the property. Further in the grounds of appeal, it has specifically been mentioned that the petitioner’s place of business is under ownership of the sole proprietor. Once the fact which has not only been mentioned in the in the reply to the show cause notice given in the application filed for grant of registration but also in the grounds of appeal, it was bounded duty of the authorities to look into the same and then pass the order in accordance with law instead of their own whims and fancies. Once the petitioner has satisfied the requirement of the law for providing PAN, Aadhar and also house tax receipt / property receipt then the authority should not have insisted for submission of receipt of electricity bill. In the absence of any short comings or defect being pointed out in the reply submitted along with documents, the petitioner has every right to carry on her business lawfully and her right to do business cannot be confiscated in illegal and arbitrary manner.

It is clear from the records that all the documents as required under the Act and law as well as in compliance to the show cause notice were furnished by the petitioner and without pointing out any defect or short coming therein, the application should not have been rejected.

Before parting with the judgement, the Court is constraint to observe that the two authorities of the State have acted only with a view to harass the petitioner which cannot be accepted at any cost. This attitude of the respondents in this petition cannot be tolerated as the officers are being State functionary has to act fairly and their action must be in consonance with the provisions of the Acts as well as Rules.

In view of the foregoing discussions, the impugned orders dated 23.09.2021 and 28.10.2021 cannot be sustained in the eyes of law. The impugned orders dated 23.09.2021 and 28.10.2021 are hereby quashed. The respondents are directed to pass an appropriate order on the material available on record within a period of seven working days from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.

The writ petition is allowed with cost of Rs. 15,000/-, which shall be deposited before the High Court State Legal Services Committee, Allahabad within a period of 20 days from today.

The respondents are at liberty to recover the cost from the erring Officer.

The compliance report regarding deposit of the cost shall be filed before the Registrar General of this Court within 45 days from today. In the event, the cost upon the erring officer is not deposited or the compliance report is not filed within the said period, the Registry is directed to list the case in chambers for further order.

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