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Technosys Security System Private Limited Vs. Commissioner, Commercial Taxes and Ors. - (High Court of Madhya Pradesh) (05 Dec 2023)

When language of statute is plain and unambiguous, it should be given effect to irrespective of its consequences

MANU/MP/3502/2023

Goods and Services Tax

The singular point raised by learned counsel for the Petitioners is that, the decision making process adopted by the Respondents is contrary to the principles of natural justice and statutory mandate ingrained in Sub -Section 4 of Section 75 of the Goods and Services Tax Act.

A plain reading of sub-section 4 of Section 75 of the Act makes it crystal clear that, "opportunity of hearing" must be granted in two situations viz (a) where a request in specific is received in writing from the person chargeable; (b) where any adverse decision is contemplated against such person. This is trite that, when language of statute is plain and unambiguous, it should be given effect to irrespective of its consequences.

The language employed in sub-section 4 of Section 75 of the Act leaves no room for any doubt that, the word 'or' is used by the law makers for a specific purpose. Although, in the first portion of the statute, i.e. sub-section 4 of Section 75 of the Act, the statute talks about a specific request, the portion after the word 'or' makes it clear like cloudless sky that opportunity of hearing is required to be given, even in those cases, where no such request is made but adverse decision is contemplated against such person.

In the instant case, whether or not the Petitioners have specifically asked for personal hearing, fact remains that the adverse decision was contemplated against the Petitioners. In that event, it was obligatory and mandatory on the part of respondents to provide the petitioners opportunity of personal hearing. Admittedly, no opportunity of personal hearing has been provided in both the matters. Resultantly, the decision -making process adopted by the Respondents is vitiated and runs contrary to the principles of natural justice and statutory requirement of sub-section 4 of Section 75 of GST Act.

As a result, the impugned proceedings after the stage of reply of show cause notices, in both the cases are set-aside. The respondents shall provide opportunity of hearing to the petitioners in both the cases. Petitions are disposed of.

Tags : PRINCIPLES   NATURAL JUSTICE   STATUTORY MANDATE  

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