Notice Sent to Old Address even when Address was changed in GST Registration Certificate: Andhra Pradesh High Court quashes Assessment Order
The Andhra Pradesh High Court while quashing the assessment order held that notice was sent to the old Address even when the address was changed in the GST registration certificate.
The petitioner, M/s. OSTRO Anantapur Private Limited, Anantapur, and a Company engaged in the business of generation and sale of wind power.
The petitioner during the relevant period purchased certain goods which are in the nature of wind power equipment and accessories which were used for setting up and operation of wind power plants. The total value of the equipment is Rs.62,40,13,181.
Subsequently, during the month of May 2018, the operations of the Company were shifted from the premises at Dwaraka Villas, Kalyandurg Road to the present premises at Kovur Nagar, and the change of address was intimated to the GST Department vide application on the portal for registration of Kovur Nagar premises. The amended registration certificate was also issued to the petitioner on May 15, 2019.
Despite acknowledging the change in the address of the petitioner, the 2nd respondent issued notices to the former address of the petitioner calling for the books of accounts for verification for the relevant period.
The respondent authority also proceeded to issue show cause notice and personal hearing notices to the former address of the petitioner which were returned to the respondent by the postal authorities which was acknowledged by the respondent in the impugned order itself.
The division bench of Justices U. Durga Prasad Rao and J. Uma Devi noted that the GST registration certificate of the petitioner shows that the address of the petitioner was changed. So, for this reason also, the petitioner cannot be said to have received the notices which would have been sent to the old address.
The Court held that the petitioner did not receive any of the notices said to be sent by the respondent authority and therefore, they had no occasion to submit their explanation/objection. So also, they had no occasion to submit their case personally. Consequently, the principles of natural justice are violated in the instant case. Therefore, the impugned assessment order is liable to be set aside. The court directed the respondent to permit the petitioner to submit its records and documents in support of its case and consider them and after affording the personal hearing to the petitioner, pass the assessment order afresh in accordance with the governing law and rules expeditiously.