Orissa HC asks auto driver to reply to GST notice over Rs 148 crore fraud
The driver Rajendra Pallai had filed a PIL seeking intervention against the notice issued to him in the case that was registered following arrest of the kingpin last year.
Published: 27th June 2021 08:37 AM | Last Updated: 27th June 2021 08:37 AM | A+A A-
CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has directed an auto-rickshaw driver to file a reply to a show cause notice issued to him for payment of tax or penalty by the State Commercial Taxes and GST wing for his alleged links in a Rs 148.03 crore GST fraud.
The driver Rajendra Pallai had filed a PIL seeking intervention against the notice issued to him in the case that was registered following arrest of the kingpin last year. The petition contended that some other persons, who were also served with notices, are innocent and poor who are either pipe mechanics or owners of paan shop or small business owners and not at all involved in such huge transaction.
Hence, they are not liable to pay the tax or penalty under the GST law. Advocate Ashis Kumar Mishra argued the case for the petitioner. But, the court while disposing of the petition on Tuesday expected the petitioner to file a reply to the notice on or before July 19.
The division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice SK Panigrahi said, “A hearing date will be fixed by the authority concerned within a period of four weeks thereafter and be intimated to the petitioner at least one week in advance. The petitioner is permitted to raise all the pleas urged in the present and any further defence he may have before the authority concerned”.
“On or before September 6, an appropriate order will be passed on the notice and communicated to the petitioner not later than September 13, 2021. If aggrieved by the order of the authority, it would be open to the petitioner to seek appropriate remedies in accordance with law”, the bench specified.
The court disposed of the petition after Deputy Commissioner CT and GST (Law) Swayamprava Sahu filed a counter affidavit claiming that the petitioner as in other cases like him is the starting point of fraud and his interrogation is badly necessary to connect the kingpin.
Sahu claimed that, “The racket involving mass fraud in GST sector thrives on ‘greed and avarice’ of innocent poor people. The GST scam takes its root only after poor people handover their personal documents to the agents of the mastermind.”