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Service of Notice under GST

Case of Kashi Bartan Bhandar Vs State Of UP

Facts

Petitioner challenging the order by which its registration as a dealer has been cancelled under the UP GST Act, 2017— Petitioner submits that the same is in gross violation of the principles of natural justice in as much the SCN alleged to be issued on 18.01.2018 has not been served upon the petitioner; that only on prima facie satisfaction that the petitioner is not carrying any business without coming to any final conclusion, the registration had been cancelled - Counsel for the Revenue submits that the SCN was sent to the petitioner at its email address and also sent by a messenger and affixed at a conspicuous place of business of the petitioner; that since no one was found at the place of business when the messenger had gone there, it was presumed that the business is lying close.

Decision of High Court

Notice under the GST Act is required to be served in accordance with the provisions of Section 169 of the Act - It is only if the mode of service as provided in the earlier parts of Section 169 are not practicable that the authorities can resort to service of notice by affixation - Court does not find that the Assistant Commissioner had come to any conclusion that all previous modes as prescribed under Section 169 are not practicable for the service of notice and, therefore, has directly resorted to service by affixation - accordingly, service, if any, by affixation cannot be regarded as a proper service - Assistant Commissioner could not have passed the order on the basis of prima-facie opinion until and unless he was of a definite opinion that the petitioner has closed down the business.

Notwithstanding the remedy of appeal, Court does not propose to relegate the petitioner to it for the simple reason that the petition was entertained and the parties have completed the pleadings to enable the Court to hear the matter on merits - Moreover, it is a case of clear violation of principles of natural justice and it is well accepted norm of exercising extraordinary jurisdiction that alternate remedy would not be a bar where the order is ex-facie, illegal and has been passed violating the principles of natural justice - Impugned order quashed and Writ Petition allowed - liberty granted to the respondent to pass a fresh order in accordance with law.

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