The Delhi High Court has held that in order to overcome glitches in the GST network and make it user friendly for traders while filing returns, , the government consider make adequate changes in the software.
A division bench of Justices S Muralidhar and IS Mehta held that GST is still in “trial and error phase‟ as far as its implementation is concerned. Ever since the date the GSTN became operational, this Court has been approached by dealers facing genuine difficulties in filing returns, claiming input tax credit through the GST portal. The court was informed about the decision of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court where after acknowledging the procedural difficulties in claiming input tax credit in the TRAN-1 form that Court directed the Respondents “either to open the portal, so as to enable the petitioner to file the TRAN 1 electronically for claiming the transitional credit or accept the manually filed TRAN 1” and to allow the input credit claimed “after processing the same, if it is otherwise eligible in law”. Held further “In the present case also the Court is satisfied that the Petitioner’s difficulty in filling up a correct credit amount in the TRAN-1 form is a genuine one which should not preclude him from having his claim examined by the authorities in accordance with law. A direction is accordingly issued to the Respondents to either open the portal so as to enable the Petitioner to again file TRAN-1 electronically or to accept a manually filed TRAN-1 on or before 31st May 2019. The Petitioner’s claims will thereafter be processed in accordance with law.”
Petitioner Bhargava Motors contended that he is a trader and a dealer/distributor of the automobile company Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. After the enactment of the Central Goods & Services Tax Act 2017 (CGST Act), under Section 140 (3) of the CGST Act, the Petitioner is entitled to claim credit of eligible duties in respect of the inputs held in stock and the inputs contained in semi furnished or furnished goods held in stock on the appointed day i.e. 30th June 2017. On this basis according to the Petitioner, although he was not liable to be registered under the Central Excise Act, 1944, he is entitled to claim credit of the excise duty paid on the goods in stock with him. He has accordingly calculated the credit due to him as Rs.74,96,069/.
The company submitted that that there are certain other goods which do not involve the central excise component and the approximate credit that can be claimed by him thereon, which has to be postponed to the stage of actual sale of such goods, works out to Rs.10.5 lakhs. He further submits that as regards the excise duty credit he has to fill up form TRAN-1 and for the other type of credit he has to fill up form TRAN-2. The Petitioner said that there were a lot of technical glitches in uploading TRAN-1 form on the common portal within the prescribed period of 90 days. The due date for furnishing TRAN-1 was accordingly postponed from time to time and finally up to 27th December 2017. The Petitioner states that he filed GST TRAN-1 on 27th December 2017 claiming the credit of Rs.74,96,069/-. He also furnished details of the stock held by him on that date. He claims to have received an e-mail from the GST Network (GSTN) portal about successful filing of the said TRAN-1 form. According to the Petitioner he was surprised to note that in his electronic credit ledger the aforementioned credit was not reflected. He thereafter approached the GST help desk and also wrote an e-mail. When his grievances not addressed, he filed the writ petition before the High Court.
The High Court observed: “With a view to ensure that in future such glitches can be overcome, the Court directs the Respondents to consider providing in the software itself a facility of the trader/dealer being able to save onto his/her system the filled up form and also a facility for reviewing the form that has been filled up before its submission. It should also permit the dealer to print out the filled up form which will contain the date/time of its submission online. The Respondents will also consider whether there can be a message that pops up by way of an acknowledgment that the Form with the credit claimed has been correctly uploaded.”
—India Legal Bureau