The Kerala High Court has recently in case of Pee Bee Enterprises vs. Asstt. Commissioner, SGST, Ernakulam has held that the service of GST assessment order through the web portal for the purposes of filing the returns is a valid service as per GST law.
The petitioner, Pee Bee Enterprises had approached the Kerala High Court aggrieved by assessment orders and consequential demand notices issued on him under the GST Act.
In the writ petition, it is the case of the petitioner that the assessments pertaining to the months April and May 2019 was completed under Section 62 of the SGST Act on best judgment basis, taking note of the non-filing of returns by the petitioner assessee for the said month.
The orders were not served on him till much later and within 30 days after the date of receipt of the orders, he filed the returns as permitted under Section 62 of the SGST Act.
He contends, therefore, that the assessment orders have to be treated as withdrawn by virtue of the provisions of Section 62 of the Act.
The Single judge bench of Justice A.K. Jayasankaran Nambiar noted that the service of an order through the web portal is one of the methods of service statutorily prescribed under Section 161(1)(c) and (d) of the SGST Act.
Therefore, the bench held that If that be so, then the petitioner cannot deny the fact of receipt of the order on 28.9.2019 for the purposes of filing the returns as contemplated under Section 62 of the SGST Act with a view to getting the assessment order withdrawn.
The Court Held-
“In as much as the return filed by the petitioner for the period April and May 2019 was only on 30.10.2019 i.e. 71 days after the date of service of the assessment order through the web portal (20.8.2019), the petitioner cannot aspire to get the benefit of withdrawal of the assessment orders contemplated under Section 62 of the SGST Act. The assessment orders would, therefore, have to be held valid and the remedy of the petitioner against the said assessment order can only be through an appeal before the appellate authority under the Act.”