SC required the petitioner who challenged the levy of GST on hand sanitizers under the same Tariff Heading as insecticides, etc. to approach the HC. This is the problem of factories all over India. Sanitizer is being used as an insecticide. But it is not an insecticide. “I have come under 32 before Your Lordships”, contended the counsel for the petitioner.“32 is available to all. But every matter can’t be entertained under 32. You are uniting the cause of manufacturers as public interest? How is this a PIL?”, asked Justice A. M. Khanwilkar.When the advocate clarified that he was before the Court in a writ petition, Justice Khanwikar  observed, This is a problem of the categorization of items under different heads. That is case-specific and a general regulation cannot be issued. Whether sanitizers, insecticides, etc. should be categorized in one head would depend on contents and other factors. The petitioner could go to the High Court if he wants. The SC cannot issue a writ in this matter.“Should we examine that general advice can’t be given because the issue is item-specific?” asked the judge. At this the advocate sought to revoke the petition which was permitted by the bench, also consisting of Justices B. R. Gavai and Krishna Murari, giving him liberty to move the reasonable forum.
The discussion regarding the imposition of GST on sanitizers is primarily concerned with two Tariff Headings – 3004 and 3808.The former relates to Medicaments consisting of mixed or purified commodities for therapeutic or prophylactic uses and attracts the GST rate of 12% while the latter relates to disinfectants apart from insecticides, herbicides, plant growth regulators, etc., and attracts the GST rate of 18 percent.The sanitizer manufacturers or importers have demanded the need to reclassify sanitizers as medicaments given that it is being used as safety from Coronavirus. The Union Finance Minister, on the other hand, had explained in July that hand sanitizers are disinfectants like soaps, anti-bacterial liquids, etc. which attracts 18% GST.