Kerala HC stays Recovery Proceedings for 6 weeks to enable the petitioner to move to Appellate Authority [Read Order]

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The Kerala High Court stayed the recovery proceedings for 6 weeks to enable the petitioner to move to Appellate Authority.

The petitioner, Amani Machine Centre approached the Court aggrieved by assessment orders passed under Section 62 of the Goods and Services Tax Act. After receipt of the said assessment order, the petitioner submitted the relevant returns, on various dates between November and December 2019.

It is admitted though, that the returns were not filed within 30 days from the date of service of the assessment orders under Section 62 and, therefore, the petitioner will not get the benefit contemplated under Section 62(2) whereby the said orders would have been deemed withdrawn save for the payment of interest or payment of late fee under Section 47.

The petitioner contended that in as much as the petitioner has a period till 31st of December, following the end of the financial year, for preferring the annual returns, the said period must also been seen as the date from which alone the respondents could proceed to complete the best judgment assessment, under Section 62 of the Act.

The court observed that while the best judgment assessment can be done immediately after detection of the failure to file the returns despite service of notice, the outer time limit for completing the best judgment assessment is five years from the date specified under Section 44 of the Act.

“The time limit of five years indicated in S. 62 (i) has to be seen as the outer limit prescribed by the statute for the exercise of power by the assessing authority, and not as indicative of any particular point in time from when, after detection of the default committed by the assessee, the assessing authority can proceed to complete the assessment on best judgment basis,” the court noted.

The single judge bench of Justice A.K.Jayasankaran Nambiar directed that recovery proceedings for recovery of the amounts confirmed against the petitioner by assessment orders shall be kept in abeyance for a period of six weeks so as to enable the petitioner to move the Appellate Authority, in its challenge against the said assessment orders, in the meanwhile.

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