1. Heard Ms. Pooja Talwar, learned counsel for the petitioner and Shri Manu Ghildyal, learned counsel for the revenue.
2. Matter is at fresh stage.
3. Perused the amendment application (2 of 2021). The same is allowed. Let amendment in the original record be incorporated by Monday (22.11.2021).
4. Challenge has been raised to the order dated 29.06.2019 issued by respondent no.2 whereby the petitioner’s registration granted under the Uttar Pradesh Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’), has been cancelled.
5. Learned counsel for the petitioner submits, the impugned order was not preceded by any proceeding, inasmuch as neither any show cause notice was issued and served on the petitioner nor any reply was called nor any date fixed for hearing was communicated to the petitioner. Such facts have been brought on record by means of the amendment application.
6. On the other hand, learned Standing Counsel for the revenue submits that the impugned order is appellable and that in absence of any reply being filed to the show cause notice dated 24.05.2019 that was uploaded on the GST portal and was thus visible to the petitioner, there was no further requirement of granting opportunity of hearing in this case under Rule 22 of the Uttar Pradesh Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 (in short, ‘Rules’).
7. While we may not rule on the issue of service of notice dated 24.05.2019 as no counter affidavit has been called in the present proceeding, insofar as the other objection raised by the petitioner is concerned, the rules of natural justice are too deeply entrenched in our jurisprudence, as may allow any exception to arise, lightly. Thus, if the respondent no.2 proposed to pass an order to cancel the petitioner’s registration, it would have far-reaching civil consequences. It could aversely impact the entire business of the petitioner.
8. Under the first proviso to Section 29 (2) of the Act, the opportunity of hearing is a must before any order cancelling the registration may be passed. Therefore, reliance placed by learned Standing Counsel on Rule 22 of the Rules is wholly misconceived. The statutory provision would dictate to the assessing authority to necessarily issue a show cause notice and afford due opportunity of hearing to the registered person before his registration may be cancelled.
9. In the admitted facts of the present case, though no reply may have been furnished by the petitioner still, it was incumbent on respondent no.2 to fix a date and afford opportunity of hearing to the petitioner in compliance of the first proviso to Section 29(2) of the Act. In view of such facts, no useful purpose would be served in keeping in the present petition pending or calling for a counter affidavit as the instructions received by the learned Standing Counsel are complete with respect to the issue being dealt with by the Court.
10. Accordingly, the writ petition is allowed. The order dated 29.06.2019 issued by respondent no.2 is set aside. The petitioner may now furnish its reply to the show cause notice dated 24.05.2019 within a period of two weeks. Thereafter, the respondent authority, after considering the reply so furnished, may pass appropriate order in accordance with law.