S.S. Industries vs Union of India
The invocation of Rule 86A of the Rules for the purpose of blocking the input tax credit may be justified if the concerned authority or any other authority, empowered in law, is of the prima facie opinion based on some cogent materials that the ITC is sought to be availed based on fraudulent transactions like fake/bogus invoices etc. However, the subjective satisfaction should be based on some credible materials or information and also should be supported by supervening factor. It is not any and every material, howsoever vague and indefinite or distant remote or far-fetching, which would warrant the formation of the belief.
(II) The power conferred upon the authority under Rule 86A of the Rules for blocking the ITC could be termed as a very drastic and far-reaching power. Such power should be used sparingly and only on subjective weighty grounds and reasons.
(III) The power under Rule 86A of the Rules should neither be used as a tool to harass the assessee nor should it be used in a manner which may have an irreversible detrimental effect on the business of the assessee.
(IV) The aspect of availing the credit and utilization of credit are two different stages. The utilization of credit is a vested right. No vested right accrues before taking credit.
(V) The Government needs to apply its mind for the purpose of laying down some guidelines or procedure for the purpose of invoking Rule 86A of the Rules. In the absence of the same, Rule 86A could be misused and may have an irreversible and detrimental effect on the business of the person concerned. In this regard, the Government needs to act promptly.
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