The Madhya Pradesh High Court directed the Designated Committee to consider the Declaration as a valid declaration under Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme, 2019 (SVLDRS).
Facts of the case:-
The petitioner, M/s Balaji Services is a proprietary firm that decided to take benefit of the Scheme, which was introduced to unload the baggage relating to legacy taxes viz Central Excise and Service Tax. The scheme is aimed to ensure that if conditions of the scheme are fulfilled, it will be incumbent upon all officers and staff of respondent/department to partner with the trade and industry to make the scheme a grand success. The scheme has the potential to liquidate the huge outstanding litigation and free the taxpayers from the burden of litigation and investigation under the legacy tax. The administrative machinery of government will also be able to fully focus on helping the taxpayers in the smooth implementation of GST.
Interpretation of law:-
The respondent by letter informed the petitioners that the office of Assistant Commissioner, CGST and Central Taxes, Division V, Indore were entrusted only with the work of verification of information mentioned by the taxpayers in their SVLDRS-1 application with regard to the show cause notice/order in original/order in appeal or its pendency at CESTAT or at the High Court. Along with the letter of the respondent, certain documents were furnished to the petitioners. Upon perusal of those documents, it became clear that the respondent accepted that the tax not paid falls under the “Arrears” category.
It is urged that the declaration filed by the petitioners was found to be correct because no objection was raised by the respondent while forwarding the case to the designated committee. The rejection of application SVLDRS-1 of the petitioners is reflected in the portal with a remark Incorrect application by the designated committee is arbitrary and illegal.
The division bench of Justice Sujoy Paul and Justice Anil Verma held that the respondents were not justified in rejecting the petitioners’ application without giving them an opportunity. Resultantly, the said impugned decision of respondents in both cases is set aside. The petitioners may file online/offline fresh applications before the respondents. In turn, the respondents shall consider them as valid applications and take a decision on it expeditiously. In the event the respondents think that there is any flaw in the applications so preferred, the petitioners are heard on that point and after following principles of natural justice, a fresh decision in the shape of a speaking order be passed within a reasonable time.