The Supreme Court has refused to give any interim relief to state-owned BPCL which has disputed the tax demand raised by the Kerala government under the newly introduced Section 17-D of the Kerala Value Added Tax Act.
Terming the section as ‘unfair’, the oil firm alleged that the state government by enacting Section 17-D had taken away its rights existing prior to the introduction of the impugned provision which obliged an aggrieved party to deposit the entire assessed tax amount, even if it is disputed, as a precondition for filing an appeal before the appellate forum .
While refusing to stay the high court judgment that directed fresh assessment, an apex court Bench has issued limited notice to the Kerala government on “the question of validity of Section 17-D of the Kerala Value Added Tax Act”. The matter will come up for hearing on July 22.
BPCL said the rider in Section 17-D introduced by the Finance Act, 2007 was confiscatory in nature as it disentitled a party from pursuing the right of appeal against a wrong assessment order.” “The high court erred in not appreciating that there was no justification in proceeding to complete the assessment under Section 17D of the KGST Act,” the petition filed through advocate Parijat Sinha stated. Senior counsel CA Sundaram, appearing for BPCL, said that the oil firm had filed Form II before the state commercial authorities conceding total inter-state sales turnover of Rs 267.8 crore for 2001-02.