Shri Bhavil Pandey, learned counsel for the petitioner. Shri Ashish Anand Barnad, learned Deputy Advocate General for the respondents/State on advance copy.
The present petition has been filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India challenging the impugned orders dated 03.12.2019 (Annexure P-4) and 16.03.2020 (Annexure P-6). By the order dated 03.12.2019 passed by the respondent No.4 the tax and penalty has been imposed on the petitioner under the Goods and Service Tax Act 2017 (Hereinafter referred to in short as “GST Act, 2017”) and by order dated 16.03.2020 passed by the respondent No.3, the appeal under Section 107 of the GST Act, 2017 has been rejected against the order imposing tax and penalty. It is strenuously urged that, the appeal preferred by the petitioner under Section 107 of the GST Act, 2017 has been dismissed without hearing the appellant as no one had appeared on behalf of the appellant on the date of hearing.
Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the impugned order dated 16.03.2020 by which the appeal preferred by the petitioner was dismissed by the respondent No.3 was not communicated to the petitioner by its local counsel. The absence of the petitioner’s counsel was even observed by the respondent No.3 while passing the order and therefore, the said order came to the knowledge of the petitioner after a long period of time. The petitioner was under the bona fide impression that the appeal is being diligently prosecuted and in fact, he had no knowledge regarding the fact that appeal has been turned down, as no communication was made by the local counsel who was pursuing the appellate proceedings.
We have gone through the appellate order dated 16.03.2020 wherein it has been observed that the appeal was preferred on 31.01.2020 before the appellate authority, thereafter no one appeared on behalf of the appellant. The appeal of the petitioner has been dismissed without affording any opportunity of being heard to the petitioner.
onsidering the aforesaid facts and circumstances, we deem it appropriate to grant an opportunity to the petitioner to appear before the appellate authority and accordingly direct that the petitioner shall appear before the appellate authority on 29.10.2021 and the appellate authority shall afford an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner and pass a fresh order without being influenced by the order dated 16.03.2020 passed in the appeal.
However, it is made clear that this Court has not expressed any opinion on the merits of the case.
With the aforesaid direction, the present writ petition is disposed of.