In a landmark decision dated 10.01.2022, the Hon’ble Bombay HC has held that extension of limitation period by Hon’ble Supreme Court in view of COVID-19, shall also apply to Refund Applications filed under Section 54(1) of the CGST Act.
The Division Bench of Hon’ble Bombay High Court, comprising of Hon’ble Justice R. D. Dhanuka & Hon’ble Justice S. M. Modak, while hearing a Writ Petition No. 1275 of 2021 in the case of Saiher Supply Chain Consulting Pvt. Ltd. v. UOI, has held that:
“14. In our view, the Respondent No.2 is also bound by the said Order dated 23rd March 2020 and the Order dated 23rd September 2021 and is require to exclude the period of limitation falling during the said period. Since the period of limitation for filing the third refund application fell between the said period 15th March 2020 and 2nd October 2021, the said period stood excluded. The third refund application filed by the Petitioner thus was within the period of limitation prescribed under the said Circular dated 18th November 2019 read with Section 54(1) of the Central Goods and Services Act, 2017. In our view, the impugned Order passed by the Respondent No.2 is contrary to the Order passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and thus deserves to be quashed and set-aside.”
It is important to mention that previously the Hon’ble Madras High Court in the case of M/s.GNC Infra LLP Vs. Assistant Commissioner (Circle), in W.P.No.18165 & 18168 of 2021, has extended the period of limitation in case of refund application in similar circumstances.
It is important to mention that Section 54(1) of the CGST Act prescribe the time limitation of 2 years from the relevant date for filing of the refund applications. The Hon’ble Supreme Court, vide its order dated 10.01.2022, has again extended the time limitation for all judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings till 28.02.2022, in view of 3rd wave of Covid-19 . The effect of the ruling of Hon’ble Bombay High Court and Hon’ble Madras High Court and in view of extension granted by Hon’ble Supreme Court, is that all the refund applications from the period of March’2018 onwards, i.e, wherein the relevant date falls on or after 15.03.2018, can still be filed till 28.02.2022, if for any reason refunds could not have been filed under GST pertaining to the period March 2018 onwards.
Read the order of Hon’ble Bombay High Court @Saiher-Supply-Chain-Consulting-Pvt.-Ltd.-Vs-Union-of-India-Bombay-High-Court