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SC disposes petition to extend GST amnesty scheme

Date: 06-03-2021
Subject: SC disposes petition to extend GST amnesty scheme
The Supreme Court refused to issue directives on extending the Goods and Services (GST) amnesty scheme saying that it was “a policy decision exclusively within the domain of the government," Financial Express reported.

The apex court dismissed the petition filed by a trader from Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur Satyakam Arya seeking the court to direct the central government and the GST Council to extend the amnesty scheme by two months in order to give more time to small businesses and MSMEs for filing their returns. He further asked for reimbursement of the late fee already collected.

“In our view, these reliefs, as sought in the petition, pertain in the realm of policy decisions. It would be inappropriate for this court to entertain a petition of this nature, such as extension of the amnesty scheme; a cap on the late fee to be collected; exemption of late fee paid for a period between March 25, 2020 and June 30, 2020 and refund of the amount already collected towards late fee." the bench of D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah said in the order.

The bench further highlighted that the scheme was a “policy intervention" by the government and that “the terms on which the amnesty scheme was executed is in the realm of a policy decision."

The petitioner said that the notification for the GST amnesty scheme was issued by the GST Council on June 24, 2020, giving time till September 30, 2020, for filing of returns between July 2017 and July 2020. It had also capped the late fee at Rs 500. For any subsequent delay, a late fee of Rs 50 per day was levied.

“Except for some essential services and activities, the rest of India’s $2.9-trillion economy remained shuttered during the lockdown period. Economic activity came to a grinding halt in the country,” the trader said in its petition filed through counsel Aviral Saxena.


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