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Supreme Court sets aside Delhi HC order on Bharti Airtel’s GST refund

Supreme Court sets aside Delhi HC order on Bharti Airtel’s GST refund

The Supreme Court Thursday set aside a Delhi High Court order which allowed Bharti Airtel’s plea for fund of Rs 923 crore in excess GST paid by it from July to September 2017 saying that rectification of errors and omissions is permissible only at the initial stages.

A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari allowed the appeal filed by the Centre against the high court’s May 5, 2020 judgement which permitted Airtel to rectify Form GSTR-3B, GST summary return form for the period.
The apex court said an assessee cannot be permitted to unilaterally carry out rectification of his returns submitted electronically in Form GSTR-­3B, which inevitably would affect the obligations and liabilities of other stakeholders, because of the cascading effect in their electronic records.

“The law permits rectification of errors and omissions only at the initial stages of Forms GSTR­1 and GSTR­3, but in the specified manner. It is a different dispensation provided than the one in pre-GST period, which did not have the provision of auto-populated records and entries,” the bench said.

The apex court said the challenge to the impugned Circular No. 26/26/2017­GST issued by the Commissioner (GST) dated December 29, 2017, is unsustainable.

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