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Department to serve Notice through other modes of communication if Assessee fails to respond to communication sent through E-mail


Last updated: 21 February 2024

Court :
Madras High Court

Brief :
The Hon'ble Madras High Court in the case of Sakthi Steel Trading v. Assistant Commissioner [W.P. No. 4122 of 2022 dated January 29, 2024] allowed the writ petition, thereby holding that, the Revenue Department should at least serve notice on Assessee through other modes of communication prescribed if the Assessee fails to respond to summon, order, notice or any other communication sent to them through E-mail.

Citation :
W.P. No. 4122 of 2022 dated January 29, 2024

The Hon'ble Madras High Court in the case of Sakthi Steel Trading v. Assistant Commissioner [W.P. No. 4122 of 2022 dated January 29, 2024] allowed the writ petition, thereby holding that, the Revenue Department should at least serve notice on Assessee through other modes of communication prescribed if the Assessee fails to respond to summon, order, notice or any other communication sent to them through E-mail.

Facts

Sakthi Steel Trading ("the Petitioner”) has filed a writ petition against order dated January 29, 2022 ("the Impugned Order”) contending that, notice sent by the Revenue Department ("the Respondent”) was sent on common portal but the Petitioner was unaware of the notice issued, therefore, the Impugned Order was passed without granting any opportunity to file reply.

Issue

Whether the Department is required to serve Notice through other modes of communication if Assessee fails to respond to communication sent through Email?

Held

The Hon'ble Madras High Court in the case of W.P. No. 4122 of 2022 held as under:

  • Observed that, Section 169 (1)(c) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 ("the CGST Act”) recognizes communication of decision, order, summon or any other communication through email or address provided at the time of registration or amended from time to time. 
  • Noted that, many of the members of the business community particularly small traders, small service providers and small manufacturers may be technologically challenged to receive and respond to communication on email. 
  • Opined that, the Respondent should atleast serve notice on such Assessee through other mode of communication prescribed if the Assessee fails to respond to summon, order, notice, or any other communication sent to them through E-mail. 
  • Held that, the Impugned Order is set aside, and matter is remitted back to the Respondent for passing of fresh order. Hence, the writ petition is allowed. 

Relevant Provision

Section 169 (1) of the CGST Act

"Section 169: Service of Notice in certain circumstances

(1) Any decision, order, summons, notice or other communication under this Act or the rules made thereunder shall be served by any one of the following methods, namely:-

(a) by giving or tendering it directly or by a messenger including a courier to the addressee or the taxable person or to his manager or authorised representative or an advocate or a tax practitioner holding authority to appear in the proceedings on behalf of the taxable person or to a person regularly employed by him in connection with the business, or to any adult member of family residing with the taxable person; or

(b) by registered post or speed post or courier with acknowledgement due, to the person for whom it is intended or his authorised representative, if any, at his last known place of business or residence; or

(c) by sending a communication to his e-mail address provided at the time of registration or as amended from time to time; or

(d) by making it available on the common portal; or

(e) by publication in a newspaper circulating in the locality in which the taxable person or the person to whom it is issued is last known to have resided, carried on business or personally worked for gain; or

(f) if none of the modes aforesaid is practicable, by affixing it in some conspicuous place at his last known place of business or residence and if such mode is not practicable for any reason, then by affixing a copy thereof on the notice board of the office of the concerned officer or authority who or which passed such decision or order or issued such summons or notice."

 

Bimal Jain
Published in GST
Views : 114



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