CBIC clarification regarding extension of limitation under GST Law in terms of SC Order dated 27.04.2021
The Government has issued notifications under Section 168A of the CGST Act, 2017, wherein the time limit for completion of various actions, by any authority or by any person, under the CGST Act, which falls during the specified period, has been extended up to a specific date, subject to some exceptions as specified in the said notifications. In this context, various representations have been received seeking clarification regarding the cognizance for extension of limitation in terms of Hon’ble Supreme Court Order dated 27.04.2021 in Miscellaneous Application No. 665/2021 in SMW(C) No. 3/2020 under the GST law.
Central Board of Direct Taxes & Customs [CBIC] has provided clarification regarding the extension of limitation under GST Law in terms of SC Order dated 27.04.2021.
The following is clarified:-
(i) The extension granted by Hon’ble Supreme Court order applies only to quasi-judicial and judicial matters relating to petitions/ applications/ suits/ appeals/ all other proceedings. All other proceedings should be understood in the nature of the earlier used expressions but can be quasi-judicial proceedings. Hon’ble Supreme Court has stepped into to grant extensions only with reference to judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings in the nature of appeals/ suits/ petitions etc. and has not extended it to every action or proceeding under the CGST Act.
(ii) For the purpose of counting the period(s) of limitation for filing of appeals before any appellate authority under the GST Law, the limitation stands extended till further orders as ordered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Suo Motu Writ Petition (Civil) 3 of 2020 vide order dated 27th April 2021. Thus, as on date, the Orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court apply to appeals, reviews, revisions etc., and not to original adjudication.
(iii) Various Orders and extensions passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court would apply only to acts and actions which are in nature of judicial, including quasi-judicial exercise of power and discretion. Even under this category, Hon’ble Supreme Court Order, applies only to a lis which needs to be pursued within a time frame fixed by the respective statutes.
(iv) Wherever proceedings are pending, judicial or quasi-judicial which requires to be heard and disposed off, cannot come to a standstill by virtue of these extension orders. Those cases need to be adjudicated or disposed off either physically or through the virtual mode based on the prevailing policies and practices besides instructions if any.
(v) The following actions such as scrutiny of returns, issuance of summons, search, enquiry or investigations and even consequential arrest in accordance with GST law would not be covered by the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
(vi) As regards issuance of show cause notice, granting time for replies and passing orders, the present Orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court may not cover them even though they are quasi-judicial proceedings as the same has only been made applicable to matters relating to petitions/applications/suits, etc.