The Bombay High Court on Wednesday quashed the provisional attachment order of attaching the bank account under the GST Act. Since the impugned attachment of bank account has been found to be without jurisdiction, availability of alternative remedy in the form of fling objection under rule 159(5) of the Maharashtra Goods and Services Tax Rules would be no bar to the petitioner from seeking relief under writ jurisdiction.
In this case, the petition was filed under under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, petitioner seeks quashing of provisional attachment order issued by respondent no.3 attaching the bank account of the petitioner maintained with the ICICI Bank.
The Petitioner has rented out commercial premises on leave and license basis receiving license fees from the licensees. Since petitioner is required to pay goods and services taxes (GST) on such license fee, he is duly registered with the GST department and submitting GST returns regularly. The respondent carried out a search at the home address and summons were also issued under Section 70 of Maharashtra Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (MGST). The petitioner came to know that his bank account maintained with the ICICI Bank, was provisionally attached by respondent no.3. As a result, petitioner was prevented from operating the said bank account. Aggrieved by such incidents petitioner submitted detailed representation to said authority to withdraw the provisional attachment of bank account forthwith. However, there was no response to the said representation.
The Bench of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice Milind N.Jadhav observed, ”Since the impugned attachment of bank account has been found to be without jurisdiction, availability of alternative remedy in the form of fling objection under rule 159(5) of the MGST Rules would be no bar to the petitioner from seeking relief under writ jurisdiction. Even here also it is doubtful whether the Joint Commissioner to whom the representation dated 01.07.2020 was addressed could have at all exercised power under rule 159(5) of the MGST Rules when the authority to do so is the Commissioner.”
Further the Court has noted that the impugned provisional attachment order dated 19.06.2020 cannot be sustained. The same is hereby set aside and quashed. Consequently, respondents are directed to forthwith withdraw the provisional attachment of bank account of the petitioner maintained with ICICI Bank Limited.