Communication through Portal: A Critical Factor in GST Appeals – M/S Yash Krishi Seva Kendra vs. State of Madhya Pradesh
The case centers on the rejection of an appeal by the department due to it being filed beyond the specified time limit. M/s Yash Krishi Seva Kendra, the applicant, contested the dismissal of their appeal under section 107 of the GST Act, which was deemed time-barred.
The crux of the applicant’s argument was that they were not informed about the cancellation of their registration within the stipulated time frame, thus preventing them from filing an appeal under section 107 of the GST Act.
In response, the department cited Section 169, stating that any decision, notice, communication, or summons under the GST Act or its Rules, when made available on the official portal, is considered adequately communicated. They argued that if the applicant failed to check the portal for the show cause notice or the registration cancellation order, despite being aware of them, the blame rested solely with the applicant.
Is it justified for the Revenue department to disallow an appeal due to a limitation period, especially when the registered person has been informed or messaged via their mobile phone?
The core issue raised by the applicant is that the department failed to communicate the registration cancellation order within the stipulated time, thereby depriving them of the opportunity to file an appeal.
The department contended that they uploaded the show cause notice and the registration cancellation order on the portal as per Section 169(1)(D) of the GST Act. They argued that once these documents were available on the portal, the applicant could have downloaded them and filed an appeal. The department emphasized that the applicant’s failure to take advantage of the portal’s resources was their responsibility, leading to the delay beyond the limitation period.
Observation and Judgment:
Evidence presented by the department showed that the show cause notice was sent to the applicant’s registered mobile number and an email was sent to their previous consultant, as indicated on the portal.
The court clearly observed that the applicant’s appeal under section 107 of the GST Act was undeniably time-barred, and the appellate authority had no discretion to extend the limitation period. In the context of this statutory provision, the court, operating within its writ jurisdiction, could not interfere.
As a result, the court found that the rejection of the appeal as time-barred could not be contested, and accordingly, the writ petition was dismissed.
The applicant’s delay in filing the appeal led to the loss of their GST Registration. Section 107 of the GST Act does not permit any leeway for the appellate authority to condone delays that exceed the stipulated time limit. In this case, the delay was substantial, despite the applicant having the opportunity to download the necessary documents from the portal and file an appeal. Furthermore, the show cause notice was sent to the applicant’s registered mobile number, and an email was dispatched to their former consultant. This case underscores the importance of seizing opportunities provided by the law and acting promptly to avoid adverse consequences.