Customs, Excise and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT): Ashok Jindal (Judicial Member) allowed an appeal against the impugned order wherein the refund claim filed by the appellant had been dismissed as time-barred.

The appellant had filed a refund claim for the period April-June, 2012. The said refund was entertained and was rejected on 30-10-2015. On appeal before the Commissioner (Appeals) the claim was allowed. Further, the appellant had made request for sanctioning of refund claim on 9-8-2016 but the Revenue had filed appeal against the order of sanctioning of refund claim on 22-3-2016 and this Tribunal dismissed of appeal filed by the Revenue. Thereafter, on persuasion by the department, the appellant had again filed application for sanctioning of refund claim on 13-2-2018 (who was forced to file). The said application was entertained, the refund claim was allowed on 9-04-2018 by the adjudicating authority. Thereafter, the Commissioner had reviewed the order of sanctioning the refund claim on 12-7-2018. The department had filed appeal before the Commissioner (Appeals) who held that the refund filed by the appellant was time-barred by limitation by order dated 28-11-2018, thus the instant appeal was filed.

The counsel for the appellant had submitted that as the Revenue continued to contest the issue before this Tribunal and this Tribunal had passed final order dated 11-3-2019 and he also submitted that they had filed refund claim initially on 29-6-2012 within the period of limitation and further after the order of this Tribunal, suo-moto the department was required to sanction the refund claim to the appellant but on the persuasion of the department, the appellant was forced to file refund claim again which was also within one year of the order of this Tribunal.

The Tribunal allowed the appeal and observed that it was fact on record that initially the refund claim was filed on 29-6-2012, the same was allowed by the Commissioner (Appeals) on 21-3-2016, instead of sanctioning the refund claim, the revenue preferred to file appeal before this Tribunal and this Tribunal had dismissed the appeal of the Revenue. The Tribunal held that it was the duty of the Revenue that after the order of this Tribunal, they were required to refund sou moto within 3 months from 1-3-2017 but instead of doing so, the appellant was forced to file refund claim again which was filed on 13-2-2018. The departmental officer did not stop there; they reviewed the order of the adjudicating authority sanctioning the refund and held that the refund claim was barred by limitation without any basis to drag the appellant in unnecessary litigation. The said act of the department cannot be appreciated.[AMP Capital Advisors (India) (P) Ltd. v. Commr. Of CGST, Appeal No.ST/60296 of 2019-ST, decided on 13-01-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

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