[COVID-19 surge] Del HC| “Consider exempting Oxygen Concentrators from IGST”, HC tells Finance Ministry

Delhi High Court: The Division Bench of Rajiv Shadher abd Talwant Singh, JJ., addressed the instant petition challenging the imposition of Integrated GST (IGST) on import of oxygen concentrators for personal use as the Ministry had already exempted the same for commercial purposes.

The instant petitioner had impugned the notification no. 30/2021-Customs, dated 01-05-2021 issued by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. The Bench stated,

“This writ petition represents one of those rare writ actions, whereby, a notification issued in the realm of a tax statute has been, inter alia, assailed under Article 21 of the Constitution.”

The Bench admitted that tax is an exaction by the State is well known and that its levy and collection does not encompass equity. However, the Bench added the petitioner has invoked Article 21 of the Constitution, which guarantees right to life due to pandemic.

Noticeably, IGST leviable on import of Oxygen Generators is 12 per cent till June 30, 2021, and prior to the May 1 Notification, it was 28% for personal use. The impugned notification had exempted imposition of IGST on oxygen concentrators imported by the State Government, or via any entity, relief agency or statutory body, authorised by the State Government till 30-06-2021.

In the light of the above, the Bench stated,

“Since the respondent has gone this far, it could move further, and extend the exemption, to even individuals, to enable them to obtain imported oxygen concentrators by way of a gift, albeit, without having to pay IGST.”

Hence, directions were issued to the Ministry of Finance to consider exempting IGST on imported oxygen concentrators for individuals as well for procuring it by way of gift for personal use.

[Gurcharan Singh v. Ministry of Finance, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 1918, order dated 05-05-2021]

Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 

Appearance before the Court by:

For the Petitioner: Sr. Adv. Sudhir Nandrajog with Adv. Siddharth Bambha, Adv.
Shyam D Nandan and Adv. Chirag

For the Respondents: ASG Chetan Sharma with SSC Zoheb Hossain

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