Shamsul Islam Barlaskar vs. The State Of Assam And Others
(Gauhati High Court, Assam)

Case Law
Petitioner / Applicant
Shamsul Islam Barlaskar
The State Of Assam And Others
Gauhati High Court
Feb 17, 2021
Order No.
TR Citation
2021 (2) TR 3913
Related HSN Chapter/s
Related HSN Code


Heard Mr. A.R. Bhuyan, learned counsel for the petitioner. Also heard Mr. B. Gogoi, learned counsel for the Finance (Taxation) Department of the Govt. of Assam, Ms. S. Chutia, learned counsel for the Water Resources Department of the Govt. of Assam.

The petitioner participated in the tender process pertaining to a tender notice dated 13.02.2014 for the work ” Anti erosion measures to Katlicherra Bagan area on the left bank of river Katakhal adjacent to NH-154 Ph-II in a length of 600m with approximate value of ₹ 1286.965 Lakhs (in different groups)” and “Anti erosion measures at Panchgram Das Colony area from the erosion River Borak on its left bank (Ch.0-800m) with approximate value of ₹ 1697.700 Lakhs (In different groups).

The said work is to be undertaken within a period of 90 days from the date of issuance of work order. Be that as it may, the work in question was allowed to be continued beyond the stipulated period. At the time when the work order was issued and it being a contract in the nature of a work contract, the relevant contractor was also required to pay certain taxes in the nature of sales tax. At the relevant time when the work order was issued, the relevant tax regime in place was governed by the Assam Value Added Tax Act, 2005 (as amended) ( in short AVAT Act, 2005). In the meantime, during the currency of the work, the tax regime is now governed by the Assam Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (in short AGST Act 2017). In the resultant situation, a question has arisen before the petitioner as to in what manner he would pay the relevant tax for the period for which the work is continued, i.e., whether under the AVAT Act, 2005 or AGST Act. 2017.

Mr. B. Gogoi, learned counsel for the respondent Taxation Department has made a statement that the said issue is yet to be decided by the authorities in the Taxation Department and therefore, it cannot be said in certainty as to under which tax regime the petitioner would be covered for the period of the work subsequent to the advent of the GST regime. In the resultant situation, we also take note of that public interest would suffer as the petitioner would not be able to pay the required taxes as they are unsure as to which regime they would be covered for the purpose.

In the circumstance, we are of the view that instead of issuing notice, public interest would be better served, if a direction is issued to the Commissioner of Tax, Assam to take a decision on the aspect as to for the work period after the advent of the GST regime, which of the tax regimes would be applicable i.e. whether the AVAT Act, 2005 or the AGST Act, 2017.

As the matter involves public interest, we direct the Commissioner of Tax to take a final decision on the aforesaid aspect within a period of one month from today.

Mr. B. Gogoi, learned counsel undertakes to inform the Commissioner of Tax about the requirement of the order. After the decision is taken, the same shall be duly notified and whatever decision is taken, the petitioner would be covered by the same unless the petitioner deems it appropriate to assail the decision by following due procedure of law.

In the aforesaid circumstance, we also provide that till such decision is taken, no coercive action be taken against the petitioner for non-payment of tax.

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