K.E. Agro Products (P) Ltd. And Others vs. The State Tax Officer (Ib) -i Sgst Department And Others
(Kerala High Court, Kerala)

Case Law
Petitioner / Applicant
K.E. Agro Products (P) Ltd. And Others
The State Tax Officer (Ib) -i Sgst Department And Others
Kerala High Court
Apr 8, 2022
Order No.
WA NO. 177, 178 and 181 OF 2022
TR Citation
2022 (4) TR 5724
Related HSN Chapter/s
Related HSN Code


WA No.177 of 2022, WA. No.178 of 2022 and WA No.181 of 2022 are filed against the judgment in WP(C) Nos.20455 of 2021, No.20453 of 2021 and WP(C) No.20447 of 2021 respectively. Since a common question arose in all the three Writ Petitions, the learned Single Judge passed a common judgment. The main issue that raised was regarding the grant of copy of statements recorded by the respondents in the course of investigation and non collection of tax for outward supply of rice.

2. The appellants in all the three appeals are assessees under the CGST/SGST Act, 2017 (for short ‘the Act’). They are engaged in outward supply of rice and bran. In connection with the enquiry, the Sales Tax Officer issued summons to one of the Directors of the company, Sri.Melvin T Mathew. Pursuant to the summons, he appeared before the first respondent and statement was recorded from him. Thereafter, the petitioners in all the writ petitions filed separate applications requesting for issuance of the statement recorded from Sri. Melvin T Mathew. A further request was also made for transfer of the files of enquiry to the place of the appellants/petitioners choice. Appellants’ request were turned down by the respondent as ‘cannot be considered’. No specific reasons are stated in the rejection orders.

3. The appellants challenged rejection orders before the learned Single Judge in the respective writ petitions. A counter affidavit was filed by the respondent in W.P.(C) No.20453 of 2021 stating that the information gathered during the enquiry was very crucial and sensitive in nature and the issuance of copies or sharing of extracts of the statements at the present stage would prejudicially affect the investigation. The learned Single Judge referring to Section 67(5) and Section 70 of the Act came to the conclusion that the only reason stated for denying the request for the issuance of the copies of the statement recorded is that ‘cannot be considered’. The proper Officer did not have a case that giving copy of the statement would cause prejudice to the investigation. Occular

4. The learned Single Judge relying on the decisions reported in Commissioner of Police, Bombay v. Gordhandas Bhanji (AIR 1952 SC 16) and Mohinder Singh Gill v. Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi [(1978) 1 SCC 405], found that an affidavit cannot enlarge or supplement reasons which the order did not contain at the time when it was issued. Thereafter, the learned Single Judge held that Ext.P10 is liable to be set aside as the reason stated is not sufficient and the first respondent was directed to re-consider the application of the petitioners/appellants for giving a copy of the statement obtained in the course of investigation. Regarding the transfer of files, the counsel for the appellants submitted that since the Government has eased the restrictions imposed during the time of covid-19 pandemic, they are not pressing the transfer of files.

5. A perusal of Ext.P10 would show that the officer has not cited any reason for not giving the copies of the statements sought for by the appellants. But in the counter affidavit the contention taken is that Section 67(5) of the Act specifically provides that the Officer can deny issuance of copies of statement if the same is prejudicial to the investigation. As already held above the affidavit cannot supplement the reasons which are not there in the order.

On going through the judgment of the learned Single Judge, the learned Single Judge has rightly exercised his jurisdiction and set aside Ext.P10 and directed the officer to pass fresh orders in the request submitted by the appellants for issuance of copies of the statements. The learned Single Judge has in fact gone a step ahead and discussed the relevant provisions of law under the Act and made passive observations which may be prejudicial to the appellants. In view of the matter, since the learned Single Judge has set aside Ext.P10 and directed re-consideration, we are of the considered opinion that the first respondent who is directed to re-consider the application has to independently consider the request made by the appellants in tune with the provisions of the Act untrammeled by the observations made by the learned Single Judge in the judgment under appeal.

Accordingly, the Writ appeals are disposed of, directing the first respondent to take up the applications submitted by the appellants for issuance of the statements recorded during the course of investigation and to pass final orders untrammeled by the observations made by the learned Single Judge in the impugned judgment.

Since the judgment impugned has been passed more six months prior and the investigation is going on, the first respondent shall take into account the present stage of the investigation while disposing of the applications submitted by the appellants.

  • Home
  • /
  • caselaw
  • /
  • k e agro products p ltd and others vs the state tax officer ib i sGST department and others kerala high court

BUSY is a simple, yet powerful GST / VAT compliant Business Accounting Software that has everything you need to grow your business.

phone Sales & Support:

+91 82 82 82 82 82
+91 11 - 4096 4096