In a situation where the decision of the Delhi HC permitting filing of TRAN-1 return by 30th June 2020 by invoking the limitation period of 3 years under Limitation Act from 01.07.2017 and grant of stay by SC on 19.06.20 on appeal by the government, the Chhattisgarh HC has given the decision to permit the taxpayer to file TRAN-1and TRAN-2.

After the GST law came into force, the last date for submission of GST TRAN-1 and TRAN-2 returns was extended by the government up to December 27, 2017. The petitioner tried to submit returns, however, because of the technical glitch faced by the petitioner it could not be submitted. The petitioner immediately reported this matter to the authorities in the department on December 26, 2017, itself.

The petitioner had tried to submit TRAN-1 and TRAN-2 returns manually on January 18, 2018, by approaching the GST Officers in the GST office at District Dhamtari and also has sent the GST TRAN-1 form by post.

The petitioner then filed the first writ petition before the HC, and the High Court disposed of the writ petition directing the petitioner to approach the Nodal Officer at Dhamtari within 4 days by filing a detailed representation with all necessary records and documents and the authority, in turn, was directed to consider and dispose of the same in terms of the circular dated April 03, 2018.

Pursuant to which the petitioner filed his representation before the concerned authorities as directed by this court. The authority i.e. the Commissioner, State Commercial Tax, in turn, took a decision and refused to grant of permission to the petitioner to submit TRAN-1 and TRAN-2.

Under rule 117(1A) of CGST Rules 2017, the GST Council has been empowered to extend the date for submission of the declaration electronically in Form GST TRAN-1 in respect of those persons who could not submit the said declaration by the due date on account of technical difficulties on the common portal and in respect of whom the Council has made a recommendation for such extension.

The Single Judge Bench of Justice P. Sam Koshy held that the petitioner had timely intimated the department in respect of the technical glitch, in addition, he had also promptly submitted his forms manually as well as had sent it by registered post; he had also approached the High Court immediately in the year 2018 itself which was refused by the Commissioner.

The Chhattisgarh High Court directed the Commissioner to refer the matter to the GST Council so as to allow TRAN-1 & TRAN-2 return filing if failure of Appellant was due to technical glitches on the common portal.

“Considering the element of time which has consumed in the course of litigation, it is expected that the Commissioner, Commercial Tax shall take a decision at the earliest preferably within an outer limit of 60 days from the date of receipt of a copy of this order,” the bench said.