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Assessment order set aside by High Court for non-furnishing of third party statement relied upon by the officer.

Constitutes violation of natural justice principles: High Court.

The statement recorded forms the basis of assessment, the petitioner ought to have been granted opportunity to peruse the statement and put forth its objections to the same. This has not been done, which, in my view, constitutes principles of violation of natural justice.

- High Court

Facts

The challenge is to order of assessment dated 08.01.2021 passed in terms of the Tamil Nadu GST Act, 2017. In the summary of notice dated 14.12.2020 the Assessing Officer has referred to notice dated 29.05.2020, wherein the Assessing Authority has noted certain discrepancies in the invoices accompanied by e-way bills.

The petitioner has replied to the Officer on 23.12.2020 specifically requiring a copy of the statement relied upon by the respondent. In the show cause notice, the Assessing Authority states that the supplier had admitted in his statement recorded by the Central GST Authorities, stating that they had neither received any inward nor engaged in outward supply. The officer thus proposes to arrive at a conclusion that the transaction was not genuine and the petitioner was engaging in bill trading. In response, the petitioner has specifically sought the statement recorded by the third party dealer reserving his right to cross examine the dealer as well as to file objections to the same. The impugned order has come to be passed without hearing the petitioner and admittedly, without supplying the statement relied upon by the Officer.

High Court

The conclusion in the assessment order, in fact, mentions the statement recorded by the third party dealer and in the light of the fact that this statement forms the basis of assessment, the petitioner ought to have been granted opportunity to peruse the statement and put forth its objections to the same. This has not been done, which, in my view, constitutes principles of violation of natural justice.

The impugned order is thus set aside. Let the statement and other particulars relied upon by the Officer in the impugned order of assessment be supplied to the petitioner within a period of three (3) weeks from today. Thereafter, the petitioner shall be afforded an opportunity of hearing to put forth its submission and also file objections. Upon consideration thereof, a speaking order shall be passed by the Officer within a period of six (6) weeks from date of first hearing.


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Author:

TaxReply


May 17, 2021


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