Calcutta HC issues notice to Centre, State in writ petition challenging Rule 86A of CGST Rules

GST Law Insider
GST Law Insider

Deepali Kalia-

Calcutta High Court directed both Centre and State of West Bengal to file affidavits in the writ petition that was filed before it that challenged the constitutional validity of Rule 86A of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 (CGST Rules) and its parallel provision in the state legislation i.e. West Bengal Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 (WBGST Rules).

The petition also prayed upon the Court to read down the Section 16(2)(c) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (CGST Act) and its concurrent provision in the West Bengal Goods and Services Tax Act,2017 (WBGST Act).

Justice Md. Nizamuddin while directing the respondents in the case to file their counter-affidavits within 4 weeks made the following observation,“ Since the Constitutional validity of both Central and State Act has been challenged, the petitioners have to serve notice upon the Attorney General of India as well as Advocate General of the State of West Bengal.”

The Court declined to pass any interim orders during the proceeding and stated that, “The interim orders as prayed for by the petitioners is same as final relief, which according to this court cannot be granted at the motion stage and furthermore, quashing of the proceedings also cannot be done at the motion stage. It is also settled position of law that every piece of legislation is presumed to be legal and valid so long it is not declared invalid by any court of law.”

The final hearing in the case will be held after 8 weeks.

Gujarat High Court had also in its 24th December 2020 judgment expressed doubts over Rule 86 A of CGST stating that given its wide ambit there existed a possibility of its misuse. Consequently, a Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice J.B Pardiwala had given direction to the State government to formulate proper guidelines for invoking the concerned provision.

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