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M/s. Cornerstone School of International Studies Pvt. Ltd. Rep. By its Managing Director, Christopher John v/s Union of India, Rep. by Secretary, Ministry of Finance, New Delhi & Others

    W.P. No. 16565 of 2021 & WMP. Nos. 17538 & 17536 of 2021
    Decided On, 10 August 2021
    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
    For the Petitioner: R. Prabhakaran, Advocate. For the Respondents: Rajnish Pathiyil, Senior Standing Counsel.

Judgment Text
(Prayer: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, to call for the records culminated in the impugned E-mail Communication in OC. No.98 of 2021 dated 03.08.2021 issued by the 3rd respondent and quash the same as llegal, and consequently direct the respondents to determine as to the applicability or otherwise of the Service Tax with respect to the petitioner school, before seeking to produce the documents repeatedly.)

This is the second time the petitioner is before this Court within the last six months praying for similar relief both times. In this Writ Petition, the petitioner seeks a Certiorarified Mandamus calling for and quashing E-mail Communication in OC. No.98 of 2021 dated 03.08.2021 issued by the Superintendent of GST & CE, Range-IV arrayed as R3. A direction is also sought to the respondents to determine the applicability or otherwise of Service Tax upon the petitioner School.

2. In W.P. No.14672 of 2021 filed by the petitioner earlier, it had sought the quash of summons issued by the 1st respondent dated 13.02.2020 in CBIC-DIN-202002DSS200000D56A4. The said writ petition has come to be dismissed by me on 16.07.2021 and the following order passed:

Mr.Rajnish Pathiyil, learned Senior Panel Counsel accepts notice for the respondents and is armed with instructions to proceed in the matter. Hence, by consent of both sides, this Writ Petition is taken up for final disposal even at the stage of admission.

2. The petitioner claims to be a school and is challenging a notice dated 13.02.2020, issued by the Director General of GST Intelligence. At the outset, the challenge is belated. Moreover, there is no merit whatsoever in the challenge and the prayer for a direction to the first respondent to exempt the petitioner from the purview of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 is not liable to be granted, as the grant of exemption or otherwise is a matter to be examined by the authorities on the basis of the materials to be furnished to them.

3. A casual perusal of the typed set of papers would itself show that the petitioner has furnished some particulars and has sought an adjournment on account of the COVID – 19 pandemic.

4. In such circumstances, it would be appropriate for the petitioner to co-operate with the authorities, furnish the documents that are sought for and pursue its case before them. Let the authorities take note of the documents, given the petitioner an opportunity and complete the proceedings in accordance with law.

5. This Writ Petition stands dismissed. No costs. Connected Miscellaneous Petitions are also dismissed.'

3. Notwithstanding the aforesaid order passed, the petitioner has filed the present writ petition again challenging a summons in regard to the on-going GST investigation. The grievance of the petitioner appears to be that the Institution is called upon repeatedly before the respondent authorities, despite the petitioner having furnished all materials in support of its claim for exemption under the provisions of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.

4. Memo dated 09.08.2021 has been filed, which lists out documents stated to have been filed by the petitioner. There is no reason for me to refer to the details of the documents stated to have been filed by the petitioner, since it is for the parties to ensure that all necessary documents in support of their claims are produced before the authorities.

5. At paragraph No.5 of the memo dated 09.08.2021, the petitioner states that having produced all relevant documents, Notifications and supporting documents to substantiate its claim for exemption, it has no further documents to be furnished to the Department. This is recorded.

6. To a specific query put to Mr.Prabakaran, learned counsel for the petitioner as to whether the petitioner desires a personal hearing in t

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he matter, he would state that no personal hearing is required and the authorities may proceed to pass an order on the basis of available materials. 7. The respondents are thus at liberty to conclude the pending proceedings in regard to the petitioner in accordance with law and based on the materials available with them. 8. This Writ petition is dismissed and connected Miscellaneous Petitions are also dismissed. No costs.