Circular No. 157/13/2021-GST : Extension of DATES in GST Law as per Supreme Court’s Order 27.04.2021

By | July 21, 2021
(Last Updated On: July 21, 2021)

Clarification regarding extension of limitation under GST Law in terms of Hon’ble Supreme Court’s Order dated 27.04.2021.

Circular No. 157/13/2021-GST
File No: CBIC-20006/10/2021
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs
GST Policy Wing
New Delhi, Dated the 20th July, 2021
To,
The Principal Chief Commissioners/ Chief Commissioners/ Principal Commissioners/
Commissioners of Central Tax (All)
The Principal Director Generals/ Director Generals (All)
Madam/Sir,
Subject : Clarification regarding extension of limitation under GST Law in terms of
Hon’ble Supreme Court’s Order dated 27.04.2021.

The Government has issued notifications under Section 168A of the CGST Act, 2017,
wherein the time limit for completion of various actions, by any authority or by any person,
under the CGST Act, which falls during the specified period, has been extended up to a
specific date, subject to some exceptions as specified in the said notifications. In this context,
various representations have been received seeking clarification regarding the cognizance for
extension of limitation in terms of Hon’ble Supreme Court Order dated 27.04.2021 in
Miscellaneous Application No. 665/2021 in SMW(C) No. 3/2020under the GST law. The
issues have been examined and to ensure uniformity in the implementation of the provisions
of law across the field formations, the Board, in exercise of its powers conferred by section
168 (1) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as “CGST
Act”), hereby clarifies the issues detailed hereunder:

2.1 The extract of the Hon’ble Supreme order dated 27th April 2021 is reproduced below
for reference:
“We, therefore, restore the order dated 23rd March, 2020 and in continuation of the order
dated 8th March, 2021 direct that the period(s) of limitation, as prescribed under any general
or special laws in respect of all judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings, whether condonable
or not, shall stand extended till further orders. It is further clarified that the period from 14th
March, 2021 till further orders shall also stand excluded in computing the periods prescribed
under Sections 23 (4) and 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, Section 12A of
the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 and provisos (b) and (c) of Section 138 of the Negotiable
Instruments Act, 1881 and any other laws, which prescribe period(s) of limitation for
instituting proceedings, outer limits (within which the court or tribunal can condone delay)
and termination of proceedings.

We have passed this order in exercise of our powers under Article 142 read with Article 141
of the Constitution of India. Hence it shall be a binding order within the meaning of Article
141 on all Courts/Tribunals and Authorities.”
2.2 The matter of extension of period of limitation under Section 168A of the CGST Act,
2017 was deliberated in the 43rd Meeting of GST Council. Council, while providing various
relaxations in the compliances for taxpayers, also recommended that wherever the timelines
for actions have been extended by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the same would apply.
3. Accordingly, legal opinion was solicited regarding applicability of the order of the
Hon’ble Supreme Court to the limitations of time lines under GST Law. The matter has been
examined on the basis of the legal opinion received in the matter. The following is observed
as per the legal opinion:-

(i) The extension granted by Hon’ble Supreme Court order applies only to quasi-judicial and
judicial matters relating to petitions/ applications/ suits/ appeals/ all other proceedings. All
other proceedings should be understood in the nature of the earlier used expressions but can
be quasi-judicial proceedings. Hon’ble Supreme Court has stepped into to grant extensions
only with reference to judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings in the nature of appeals/ suits/
petitions etc. and has not extended it to every action or proceeding under the CGST Act.
(ii) For the purpose of counting the period(s) of limitation for filing of appeals before any
appellate authority under the GST Law, the limitation stands extended till further orders as
ordered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Suo Motu Writ Petition (Civil) 3 of 2020 vide
order dated 27th April 2021. Thus, as on date, the Orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court
apply to appeals, reviews, revisions etc., and not to original adjudication.
(iii) Various Orders and extensions passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court would apply only
to acts and actions which are in nature of judicial, including quasi-judicial exercise of power
and discretion. Even under this category, Hon’ble Supreme Court Order, applies only to a lis
which needs to be pursued within a time frame fixed by the respective statutes.

(iv) Wherever proceedings are pending, judicial or quasi-judicial which requires to be heard
and disposed off, cannot come to a standstill by virtue of these extension orders. Those cases
need to be adjudicated or disposed off either physically or through the virtual mode based on
the prevailing policies and practices besides instructions if any.
(v) The following actions such as scrutiny of returns, issuance of summons, search, enquiry
or investigations and even consequential arrest in accordance with GST law would not be
covered by the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
(vi) As regards issuance of show cause notice, granting time for replies and passing orders,
the present Orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court may not cover them even though they are
quasi-judicial proceedings as the same has only been made applicable to matters relating to
petitions/applications/suits, etc.

4. On the basis of the legal opinion, it is hereby clarified that various
actions/compliances under GST can be broadly categorised as follows: –
(a) Proceedings that need to be initiated or compliances that need to be done by the
taxpayers:-These actions would continue to be governed only by the statutory mechanism
and time limit provided/ extensions granted under the statute itself. Various Orders of the
Hon’ble Supreme Court would not apply to the said proceedings/ compliances on part of the
taxpayers.
(b) Quasi-Judicial proceedings by tax authorities:-
The tax authorities can continue to hear and dispose off proceedings where they are
performing the functions as quasi-judicial authority. This may interalia include disposal of
application for refund, application for revocation of cancellation of registration, adjudication
proceedings of demand notices, etc.
Similarly, appeals which are filed and are pending, can continue to be heard and disposed off
and the same will be governed by those extensions of time granted by the statutes or
notifications, if any.

(c) Appeals by taxpayers/ tax authorities against any quasi- judicial order:-Wherever
any appeal is required to filed before Joint/ Additional Commissioner (Appeals),
Commissioner (Appeals), Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling, Tribunal and various
courts against any quasi-judicial order or where a proceeding for revision or rectification of
any order is required to be undertaken, the time line for the same would stand extended as per
the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order.
5. In other words, the extension of timelines granted by Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its
Order dated 27.04.2021 is applicable in respect of any appeal which is required to be filed
before Joint/ Additional Commissioner (Appeals), Commissioner (Appeals), Appellate
Authority for Advance Ruling, Tribunal and various courts against any quasi-judicial order or
where proceeding for revision or rectification of any order is required to be undertaken, and is
not applicable to any other proceedings under GST Laws.
6. It is requested that suitable trade notices may be issued to publicize the contents of
this Circular.
7. Difficulty, if any, in implementation of this Circular may please be brought to the
notice of the Board. Hindi version would follow.
(Sanjay Mangal)
Pr. Commissioner (GST)

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