Madhya Pradesh High Court Allows Writ as Statutory Procedure to Communicate Show-Cause Notice Wasn't Followed
It is trite principle of law that when a particular procedure is prescribed to perform a particular act then all other procedures/modes except the one prescribed are excluded
The High Court of Madhya Pradesh allowed the writ petitions on the ground that the statutory procedure prescribed for communicating show-cause notice/order under Rule 142(1) of Central Goods And Services Tax Act, 2017 (CGST) was not followed by the Respondent.
The Division Bench in the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, comprising of Justices Rajeev Kumar Shrivastava and Sheel Nagu, dealt with this matter titled Ram Prasad Sharma v The Chief Commissioner And Anr.
The writ petition invoked the writ and supervisory jurisdiction of the Court under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India by directing the Respondents – Authorities to comply with the provisions of the GST Act and upload notices and orders only on the GSTN Portal as mandated under the law.
The Petitioner claimed that the foundational show-cause notice/order No. 10 dated 10 June 2020 for the financial year 2019-2020 was never communicated to him despite being an individual registered under GST Act. The Petitioner contended that there has been a violation of the principle of natural justice on the anvil of Rule 142 of Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.
The Petitioner drew attention to the provision of Rule 142(1) of CGST Act to contend that the said provision statutorily obliged the revenue department to communicate show-cause notice/order by uploading the same on the website of revenue so that the aggrieved person can have access to the same and be aware.
The Respondent contended that the said notice was communicated to the Petitioner on his e-mail address and despite receiving the same, the Petitioner failed to file any response.
The bench referred to the provision of Rule 142 of the CGST Act and concluded that the only mode prescribed for communicating the show-cause notice/order is by way of uploading the same on the website of the revenue department.
The bench noted that that Respondent has conceded to the fact that the show-cause notice/order was communicated to the Petitioner by e-mail and was not uploaded on the website. It made the following observation on the said issue:
"It is trite principle of law that when a particular procedure is prescribed to perform a particular act then all other procedures/modes except the one prescribed are excluded. This principle becomes all the more stringent when statutorily prescribed as is the case herein."
The Court allowed this petition as the statutory procedure prescribed for communicating show-cause notice/order under Rule 142(1) of CGST Act was not followed by the revenue and the demand for the financial year 2019-2020 was struck down. It further directed the Respondent to follow the procedure prescribed under Rule 142 of the CGST Act.