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The Hon'ble High Court of Himachal Pradesh in case of Radha Krishan Industries Vs State Of H.P. And Others (Himachal Pradesh High Court) held that "when a statutory form is created by law for redressal of grievance, a writ petition should not be entertained ignoring the statutory dispensation."

Although this principal holds good in most of the cases, there are exceptions to this principal.

The Hon'ble Gujarat High Court, in the case of Panoli Intermediate (India) Pvt. Ltd. v. Union of India while discussing the issue of legal remedy after exhaustion of statutory remedies also laid down certain instances in which the Writ jurisdiction can be entertained.

Exceptions to the Principal that  Writ petition not maintainable if alternative remedy available  under GST Laws

The Court held that the powers under Article 226 of the Constitution cannot be whittled down by any Statute. While holding so, it also drew a line of caution by stating that Writ jurisdiction should not be converted into an Appellate jurisdiction, resulting in re-appreciation of evidence or correction of errors. In order to determine the extent of judicial interference in these matters, it laid instances in which the Writ jurisdiction can be entertained:

  1. The orders passed by the authority without jurisdiction or by erroneous assumption of jurisdiction; or
  2. The authority exercising the power in excess of the conferred jurisdiction and by overstepping or crossing the limits of such conferred jurisdiction; or
  3. The authority having acted in flagrant disregard to law or rules or procedure or acted in violation of principles of natural justice where no procedure is specified.
 

An example where the High Court indeed exercised the exceptions can be gauged by reading the case of Golden Mesh Industries Vs ACST (Telangana High Court)

The Hon'ble Telangana High Court in case of M/S Golden Mesh Industries v. Assistant Commissioner State Tax [W.P. No. 7789 of 2021, dated March 31, 2021], set aside the best judgment assessment order passed for non-compliance with the request to file GSTR-3B return, by the Assistant Commissioner under Section 62 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 ("CGST Act"), being prima facie arbitrary and contrary to the provisions of the CGST Act. Remanded back the matter for fresh consideration and directed the Authority to pass a reasoned order w.r.t. levy of tax, interest and penalty, in accordance with the law.

 

Conclusion

The case of Golden Mesh Industries squarely falls into an exceptional instance of "The authority having acted in flagrant disregard to law or rules or procedure or acted in violation of principles of natural justice where no procedure is specified" and thus writ was maintainable in spite of the availability of alternate remedy.


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Category GST, Other Articles by - CA Shruti Singhal 



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