The Supreme Court has observed that a writ petition preferred under Article 226, bypassing statutory appeal, cannot be entertained.

In the instant case, the Court observed that "The writ petition preferred by the respondent herein – original writ petitioner– assessee is hereby dismissed on the ground of alternative efficacious statutory remedy of appeal available to the respondent."

The bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice Krishna Murari allowing an appeal, has quashed and set aside the order passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court and has relegated the respondent – assessee- original writ petitioner to prefer a statutory appeal under Section 46(1) of the Madhya Pradesh Value Added Tax Act, 2002 against the Assessment Order.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court entertaining a Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, has quashed and set aside the Assessment Order of the Assessing Officer denying the Input rebate under Section 14 of the Act and consequently has allowed the Input rebate in favour of the respondent. The High Court had observed, "that there are no disputed questions of facts involved in the matter and it is a question to be decided on admitted facts for which no dispute or enquiry into factual aspects of the matter is called for."

The Apex Court observed that the parties should first exhaust Statutory Alternative Remedies available to them rather than approaching the Writ Court under Article 226 of the Constitution. The Court relied on United Bank of India v. Satyawati Tondon and others, reported in (2010) 8 SCC 110 and held that "in a tax matter when a statutory remedy of appeal is available, the High Court ought not to have entertained the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India against the Assessment Order by-passing the statutory remedy of appeal."

Accordingly, the Apex Court held that the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court entertaining the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India against the Assessment Order denying the benefit of Input rebate is unsustainable and the same deserves to be quashed and set aside.

Cause Title- The State of Madhya Pradesh and Another Vs. M/s Commercial Engineers and Body Building Company Limited.

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