While appreciating the language of Section 107(4)of the CGST Act, 2017, the Kerala High Court upheld the action of the Commissioner(first Respondent) in rejecting the appeal preferred by the Petitioner as time-barred.

"The Central Goods and Services Tax Act is a special statute and a self-contained code by itself, and Section 107 thereof is an inbuilt mechanism and has impliedly excluded the application of the Limitation Act," observed a Single Judge Bench of Justice C.S Dias.

Advocate Georgie Simon appeared on behalf of the Petitioner/Taxpayer, whereas Senior Government Pleader Thushara James appeared on behalf of the Respondent/Department.

The facts of the case are that the business of the Petitioner firm (Taxpayer) engaged in direct marketing, got affected and was prevented from filing the returns on time, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This led to the cancellation of its GST registration. Even though the Petitioner approached the Commissioner, the appeal was rejected on the ground of delay. Hence, the Petitioner approached the High Court challenging such action of the Department.

Finding that the Petitioner had preferred an appeal after two hundred and nine days of the cancellation of its GST registration, the Bench observed that the appeal is undoubtedly beyond the statutory period fixed under Section 107(4) of the CGST Act, 2017.

Highlighting that the provisions of a fiscal statute have to be strictly construed and interpreted, the Bench held that the Limitation Act will apply only if it is extended to the special statute.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the petition.

Cause Title: Penuel Nexus Pvt Ltd v. The Additional Commissioner Headquarters (Appeals), Ernakulam and Anr.

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