The petitioner has approached this Court aggrieved by Ext.P14 order passed against him under Section 74 of the GST Act. In the writ petition, the case of the petitioner is essentially that, proceedings were earlier initiated against him for penalty under Section 122 of the GST Act and the said proceedings culminated in Ext.P5 order dated 25.4.2019 imposing a penalty on the petitioner for contravention of the provisions of the Statute. It is his case therefore that inasmuch as the petitioner has already been proceeded against, under Section 122 of the GST Act, a fresh proceedings under Section 74 cannot be pursued against him and on that reasoning, Ext.P14 order passed by the respondents is clearly without jurisdiction.
2. I have heard the learned counsel or the petitioner, the learned Government Pleader for the official respondents of the State as also the learned Central Government Standing Counsel for the respondents.
3. On a consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case as also the submissions made across the bar, I find that this is not a fit case for interference with Ext.P14 order. The petitioner being aggrieved by Ext.P14 order has to approach the Appellate Authority under the Act in his challenge against the same. I do not find any merit in the contention raised by the learned counsel for the petitioner that in view of Ext.P5 order passed under Section 122 of the GST Act, the respondents are precluded from initiating any proceedings under Section 74 of the GST Act. While proceedings under Section 122 are for the purposes of imposition of penalty on an assessee, who has contravened the provisions of the Act, the proceedings under Section 74 of the Act are with a view to recover unpaid tax together with interest thereon, in cases where the non-payment of tax is on account of a suppression or willful misstatement occasioned by the assessee. I also do not find force in the submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner that it is only the Central government authorities that can initiate proceedings under Section 74 of the Act. There is no statutory basis for the said submission made on behalf of the petitioner. Accordingly, without prejudice to the right of the petitioner to move the Appellate Authority through an appeal against Ext.P14 order, the writ petition in its challenge against the same is dismissed.
Taking note of the submission of the learned counsel for the petitioner that he would require some time to move the Appellate Authority, I direct that recovery steps for recovery of amounts confirmed against the petitioner by Ext.P14 order shall be kept in abeyance for a period of three weeks so as to enable the petitioner to approach the Appellate Authority in the meanwhile.