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Punjab & Haryana HC directs GST dept. to release Bank Account of UFV Global India Education [Read Order]

UFV Global India Education - GST - Taxscan

The Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the GST Department to release the bank account of the petitioner, UFV global India Education on the grounds that the order can be in writing to attach any property or even the bank account of the taxable person if the proceedings are initiated and are pending but not in the case when the provisions in which the proceedings have earlier been initiated and are over.

The petitioner, UFV global India Education is carrying out the academic programs in India of the University of Fraser Valley, Canada (UFV). The academic programs are being carried out in collaboration with Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharma College and Panjab University. The degrees awarded by the UFV, Canada are recognized by the Panjab University.

It is averred that the officials of the Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence, Chandigarh Zonal Unit (DGGSTI) visited the premises of the petitioner and recorded the statements of its Associate Director(s).

The Officer of the DGGSTI sent an email to the petitioner that its bank account has been provisionally attached under Section 83 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.

The objection was filed under Rule 159 (5) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 against the provisional attachment of the bank account and it was submitted that it had to make the urgent payments, therefore, the account may be released from the attachment.

The respondent authority passed the order of partly releasing the Bank Account for payments under the Amnesty Scheme but rejected the prayer to release the provisional attachment holding that the petitioner does not have any property other than the Bank Account from where the Government revenue can be protected.

The petitioner contended that the proceedings under Section 67 have already been over and no proceedings either under Section 63 or Section 74 have been initiated so far, therefore, the attachment order passed under Section 83 has become redundant.

However, the respondent authority vehemently argued that the proceedings initiated under Section 83 of the Act has been initiated because the proceedings under Section 67 have been launched which shall culminate into the proceedings under Section 63 or 74 of the Act.

The division bench of Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain and Justice Ashok Kumar Verma opined that the impugned orders passed by the respondents are patently illegal especially when the proceedings initiated under Section 67 of the Act have already been over.

Therefore, the court quashed the impugned orders with a direction to the respondents to release the bank account of the petitioners forthwith which has been provisionally attached.

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