When the SCN reply is ignored, GST Registration cannot be cancelled
Fact and issue of the case
The petitioner has filed the present petition, inter alia, impugning an order dated 28.12.2020 passed by the Superintendent, Ward-90 whereby the petitioner’s registration under the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (hereafter ‘the Act’) was cancelled. The said order was passed in furtherance of the proceedings commenced by the Show Cause Notice dated 15.12.2020. Admittedly, the allegation against the petitioner is that it had defaulted in filing the returns for more than six months.
The petitioner had allegedly, responded to the said Show Cause Notice by filing a reply dated 24.12.2020. The learned counsel for the petitioner states that the same has not been filed along with the petition as the copy of the same is not readily available. She states that the Advocate who was engaged by the petitioner at the material time has not supplied a copy of the same.
Mr. Singla, learned counsel for the respondent states that the case history does not reflect that the petitioner had filed any response to the Show Cause Notice dated 15.12.2020. He contends that possibly, there was a technical glitch and the reference to the reply dated 24.12.2020 has been automatically generated.
The counter affidavit filed by the respondent in this regard is somewhat inconsistent. Although the respondent has stated in one of the paragraphs that the petitioner had not submitted any response. The averments made by the petitioner, in another paragraph, to the effect that it had submitted a response to the Show Cause Notice has not been traversed. On the contrary, the same is accepted as a matter of record.
Observation of the court
There is no statement in the counter affidavit to the effect that the order dated 28.12.2020 suffers from any error as is now sought to be contended before this Court.
Although the impugned order dated 28.12.2020 refers to the petitioner’s response to the Show Cause Notice, it does not indicate as to the contents thereof or reflects any discussion in respect of the petitioner’s explanation.
In view of the above, we find merit in the petitioner’s contention that the impugned order cannot be sustained.
Before concluding, it is also relevant to note that there is no dispute that the petitioner has filed its returns, albeit belatedly, and has also paid the tax and penalty in accordance with the Act.
It is not necessary for this Court to examine whether the time period as stipulated under Section 30 of the Act is mandatory in this case. This is because it is apparent that the impugned order dated 28.12.2020, cancelling the petitioner’s registration is unsustainable as it does not consider the petitioner’s response to the Show Cause Notice.
The impugned order dated 28.12.2020 is set aside. Consequently, the respondents are directed to restore the petitioner’s Registration (being Registration No. 07ASMPK8600N1Z9).
The petition is allowed in the aforesaid terms.
In the result, appeal of the assessee is allowed and ruled in favour of the assessee
Read the full order from hereRakesh