High Court in Exercise of its Writ Jurisdiction can’t disregard the Substantive Provisions of a Statute: SC [Read Judgment]

High Court in Exercise of its Writ Jurisdiction can’t disregard the Substantive Provisions of a Statute: SC [Read Judgment]

High Court - Jurisdiction - Letters Rogatory - Supreme Court - taxscan

The Supreme Court while rejecting condonation of delay application held that the High Court has wide jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution, does not mean that it can disregard the substantive provisions of a statute and pass orders which can be settled only through a mechanism prescribed by the statute.

The respondent, M/s. Glaxo Smith Kline Consumer Health Care Limited is a registered dealer and is engaged in the business of manufacturing and sale of Horlicks, Boost, Biscuits, Ghee, Ayurvedic Medicines, etc.

The Assistant Commissioner had called upon the respondent to produce books of accounts for the assessment year for finalization of assessment under the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956. The authorized representative of the respondent produced a declaration in Form “F” in support of its claim that certain transactions are inter­ State transfers. The information and declaration furnished by the respondent was duly verified and after giving personal hearing to the respondent, final assessment order came to be passed by the Assistant Commissioner against the turnover on the finding that the respondent had failed to submit Form “F” to the tune of the turnover reported in the Central Sales Tax (CST) return. This assessment order was duly served on the respondent. The respondent did not file an appeal against this assessment order within the statutory period.

The Division Bench of the High Court directed the respondent to pay an additional amount equivalent to 12.5% of the disputed tax within one week, which was an ex ­parte order.

The issue raised in this case was whether the High Court in the exercise of its writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India ought to entertain a challenge to the assessment order on the sole ground that the statutory remedy of appeal against that order stood foreclosed by the law of limitation.

The division bench consisting of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari rejected condonation of delay application and held that the High Court has wide jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution, does not mean that it can disregard the substantive provisions of a statute and pass orders which can be settled only through a mechanism prescribed by the statute.

“Since the statutory period specified for the filing of appeal had expired long back in August 2017 itself and the appeal came to be filed by the respondent only on 24.9.2018, without substantiating the plea about an inability to file the appeal within the prescribed time, no indulgence could be shown to the respondent at all,” the division bench said.

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