To strike a balance between the indolence of petitioner in not responding to the notice dated 21.09.2020 and participating in the hearing culminated in passing the impugned orders on one hand and the necessity of fair adjudication based on all relevant materials, we choose to remand the matter for fresh hearing subject to conditions.
Section 62 of the CGST Act, 2017--- Assessment Orders ----- The petitioner challenged assessment orders dated 06.02.2021 imposing tax, penalty and interest, as payments received by him on works contract did not tally with the turnovers reported through GSTR-3B forms. The counsel for the petitioner submitted that his client was unable to submit relevant documents exempting the tax liability as the State was going through a lockdown and without giving his client adequate opportunity to submit such documents, the assessing authority passed the impugned orders in violation of principles of natural justice and fair procedure. The court observed that in this case show-cause notice was issued in September, 2020 when unlocking phase had already commenced and the impugned order was, passed in February, 2021 when no lockdown was in force. But the petitioner did not participate in the hearing, which culminated in passing the impugned orders.
Held that:- The Hon’ble High Court remanded the matter for fresh hearing subject to condition that the petitioner deposits a sum of 10% of the tax, penalty and interest, within four weeks, thereafter, the authority shall consider the matters afresh after giving adequate opportunity of hearing.