NOC from another department can not be asked for revocation of cancellation of registration : High Court
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Principal Commissioner of Goods and Service Tax
VIBHU BAKHRU AND AMIT MAHAJAN, JJ.
W.P.(C) NO. 1989 OF 2023
FEBRUARY 15, 2023
P.R. Singh, Ms. Shalini Singh and Ms. Priyanka Goel, Advs. for the Petitioner. Aditya Singla, Sr. Standing Counsel for the Respondent.
CM APPL. 7567/2023
1. Exemption is allowed, subject to all just exceptions.
2. The application stands disposed of.
3. Issue notice.
4. Mr. Aditya Singla, learned counsel appearing for the respondents, accepts notice.
5. The petitioner has filed the present petition, inter alia, praying that appropriate directions be issued to the respondents to reinstate the GST registration of the petitioner.
6. The petitioner also impugns the show cause notice dated 22.09.2022 as well as the order dated 11.10.2022 cancelling the petitioner’s GST registration.
7. The petitioner was registered under the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (GST Registration No.07BFCPS7397E3ZY) effective from 17.12.2021. The petitioner claims that on 27.05.2022, it applied to the concerned authorities for amendment of certain particulars, which were accepted. Thereafter, on 22.09.2022, the respondent issued a show cause notice proposing to cancel the petitioner’s registration. The petitioner was called upon to submit a reply and also appear before the concerned authority on 26.09.2022.
8. A plain reading of the show cause notice indicates that the reason for the proposed action was stated to be “Non-compliance of any specified provisions in the GST Act or the Rules made thereunder as may be prescribed“.
9. We are at a loss to understand as to how any person could respond to the said allegation. Clearly, the show cause notice does not specify any allegation, which is capable of being responded to. It is settled law that the purpose of the show cause notice is to enable the noticee to meet the allegations on the basis of which an adverse action is proposed. Tested on the said anvil, it is clear that the impugned show cause notice is bereft of any reasons and is issued in a mechanical manner without any application of mind.
10. We are of the view that the impugned show cause notice cannot be considered as a show cause notice at all.
11. The petitioner’s registration was cancelled by an impugned order dated 11.10.2022. The petitioner, understandably, did not respond to the impugned show cause notice. The petitioner’s registration was cancelled on the ground that the petitioner had neither appeared for a personal hearing nor submitted any reply.
12. Aggrieved by the order dated 11.10.2021, the petitioner filed an application seeking revocation of the order of cancellation, which is pending. The petitioner has been pursuing the concerned authority for disposal of its application for revocation of the cancellation order dated 11.10.2022, but in vain.
13. The learned counsel for the petitioner has handed over a copy of the message purportedly received from the officers of the Rohini Division, which reads as under:
“M/s Sangeeta Singh GSTIN: 07BFCPS7397E3ZY
Please refer to your Letter dated 20.01.2023
On the subject “status in respect of Reg-21 dated 15.10.2022 filed for revocation of cancellation of registration vide ARN AA071022035800”
In this regard it is submitted that the cancellation of registration has been directed by Anti-Evasion Head-quarter. A proper NOC (No Objection Certificate) from Anti-Evasion Head-Quarter may be obtain in order to enable this office to proceed for the with your revocation application
14. Concededly, there is no statutory provision that requires a taxpayer to seek an NOC from any authority for moving an application for revocation of cancellation of its registration.
15. As stated above, we find that the procedure adopted by the respondents for cancellation of the registration is flawed. As noted above, the impugned show cause notice cannot be considered as a show cause notice at all and therefore, the impugned order dated 11.10.2022, cancelling the petitioner’s registration, has been passed in violation of principles of natural justice and is liable to be set aside.
16. In view of the above, the petition is allowed.
17. The impugned show cause notice dated 22.09.2022 as well as the impugned order dated 11.10.2022, cancelling the petitioner’s GSTIN Registration, are set aside.
18. It is clarified that this would not preclude the respondents from initiating any fresh action in accordance with law.