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No imposition of the penalty for violation of Section 171(1) of CGST Act before 01.01.2020

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Court :
NAA (National Anti-Profiteering Authority)

Brief :
The brief facts of the present case are that the Applicant No. 2 vide his Report dated 24.04.2019, furnished to this Authority under Rule 129 (6) of the Central Goods & Services Tax (CGST) Rules, 2017, had submitted that he had conducted an investigation on the complaint of the Applicant No. 1 and found that the Respondent had not passed on the benefit of Input Tax Credit in respect of the flat purchased by him in the "River View Heights" project of the Respondent on introduction of the GST w.e.f. 01.07.2017, as per the provisions of Section 171 (1) of the CGST Act, 2017

Citation :
Petitioner / Applicant: SH. VASANTBHAI BHIKABHAI PATEL Respondent: M/S. SHREE INFRA

Petitioner / Applicant SH. VASANTBHAI BHIKABHAI PATEL
Respondent M/S. SHREE INFRA
Court NAA (National Anti-Profiteering Authority)
Case No 55/2020
Date of Order 25/08/20

BEFORE THE NATIONAL ANTI-PROFITEERING AUTHORITY 
UNDER THE CENTRAL GOODS & SERVICES TAX ACT, 2017 

In the matter of: 

1. Sh. Vasantbhai Bhikabhai Patel, 202, Shree Shakti Tower, near Eiffiel Tower, L H Road, Surat- 395 006. 
2. Director General of Anti-Profiteering, Indirect Taxes & Customs, 2nd Floor, Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan, Bhai Vir Singh Marg, Gole Market, New Delhi-110001. 
Applicants 

Versus 

M/s Shree Infra, River View Heights, Pedder Road, Opp. Valkeshwar Society, Mata Varachha, Surat- 395 105. Respondent 

Quorum:- 

1. Dr. B. N. Sharma, Chairman 
2. Sh. J. C. Chauhan, Technical Member 
3. Sh. Amand Shah, Technical Member 

Present:

  • None for the Applicants
  • None for the Respondent

ORDER

1. The brief facts of the present case are that the Applicant No. 2 (here­in-after referred to as the DGAP) vide his Report dated 24.04.2019, furnished to this Authority under Rule 129 (6) of the Central Goods & Services Tax (CGST) Rules, 2017, had submitted that he had conducted an investigation on the complaint of the Applicant No. 1 and found that the Respondent had not passed on the benefit of Input Tax Credit in respect of the flat purchased by him in the “River View Heights” project of the Respondent on introduction of the GST w.e.f. 01.07.2017, as per the provisions of Section 171 (1) of the CGST Act, 2017. Vide his above Report the DGAP had also submitted that the Respondent had denied the benefit of input tax credit to the above Applicant and other buyers amounting to Rs. 2,13,468/- pertaining to the period from July, 2017 to October, 2018 and had thus indulged in profiteering and violation of the provisions of Section 171 (1) of the above Act.

2. This Authority after careful consideration of the Report dated 24.04.2019 had issued notice dated 25.04.2019 to the Respondent to show cause why the Report furnished by the DGAP should not be accepted and his liability for violation of the provisions of Section 171 (1) should not be fixed. After hearing the concerned parties at length this Authority vide its Order No. 51/2019 dated 21.10.2019 had determined the profiteered amount as Rs. 2,13,468/- as per the provisions of Section 171 (2) of the above Act read with Rule 133 (1) of the CGST Rules, 2017 pertaining to the period from July, 2017 to October, 2018 and also held the Respondent in violation of the provisions of Section 171 (1).

3. It was also held that the Respondent had denied the benefit of ITC by not reducing prices of the flats commensurately and had also compelled the buyers to pay more price and GST on the additional amount realised from them between the period from July, 2017 to October, 2018 and therefore, he had apparently committed an offence under Section 171 (3A) of the CGST Act, 2017 and hence, he was liable for imposition of penalty under the provisions of the above Section.

4. The Respondent was issued notice dated 26.11.2019 asking him to explain why the penalty mentioned in Section 171 (3A) read with Rule 133 (3) (d) should not be imposed on him.

5. The Respondent vide his submissions dated 09.01.2020 has stated that the penal provisions under Section 171 (3A) of the Act read with Rule 133 (3) (d) of the CGST Rules, 2017 should not be invoked and penalty should not be imposed on him as the Central Government vide Notification No. 01/2020- Central Tax dated 01.01.2020 has appointed the 1st day January, 2020 as the date on which the provisions of Section 92 to 112 of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 2019 shall come into force. He has further submitted that provisions of Section 171 (3A) inserted vide Section 112 of the Finance Act, 2019 are effective prospectively from 01.01.2020 and they cannot have retrospective operation. He has inter-alia also made a number of submissions for non-imposition of penalty.

6. We have carefully considered the submissions of the Respondent and all the material placed before us and it has been revealed that the Respondent has not passed on the benefit of input tax credit to his buyers w.e.f 01.07.2017 to 31.10.2018 and hence, the Respondent has violated the provisions of Section 171 (1) of the CGST Act, 2017.

7. It is also revealed from the perusal of the CGST Act and the Rules framed under it that the Central Government vide Notification No. 01/2020- Central Tax dated 01.01.2020 has implemented the provisions of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 2019 from 01.01.2020 vide which sub-section 171 (3A) was added in Section 171 of the CGST Act, 2017 and penalty was proposed to be imposed in the case of violation of Section 171 (1) of the CGST Act, 2017. Since no penalty provisions were in existence between the period w.e.f. 01.07.2017 to 31.10.2018 when the Respondent had violated the provisions of Section 171 (1), the penalty prescribed under Section 171 (3A) cannot be imposed on the Respondent retrospectively. Accordingly, the notice dated 26.11.2019 issued to the Respondent for imposition of penalty under Section 171 (3A) is hereby withdrawn and the present penalty proceedings launched against him are accordingly dropped.

8. Copy of this order be supplied to both the parties. File be consigned after completion.

 

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on 07 September 2020
Published in GST
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