PIL filed by Tax Bar Assn. to seek release of VAT refunds converted to a representation

Delhi High Court: In a PIL filed by the Tax Bar Association seeking the Court’s direction to the Delhi VAT department to process and release the VAT refunds due, pay interest on the delay of release of refunds and to impose exemplary damages on the VAT department for the delay in release of the refunds to all the registered dealers whose refunds have been deliberately, intentionally and without any reason have been delayed, the Court, rather than pass directions converted it into a representation before the Delhi VAT department. A similar writ, seeking similar relief had been previously dismissed.

The Bench of Rohini, C.J. and Jayant Nath, J. sought to know why the present petition should also not be dismissed. Petitioner Association contended that since the impugned action of the VAT department in withholding the refund to which the registered dealers were entitled to, under the provisions of the Delhi Value Added Tax Act, 2004 (DVAT Act) is ex facie illegal apart from being in violation of the law laid down by this Court in Swarn Darshan Impex (P) Ltd. v. Commissioner Trade Tax, (2010) 31 VST 475 (Del),  the petitioner Association may be permitted to espouse the cause in the interest of the public at large. The Court directed the Commissioner of VAT, New Delhi to look into the issue and take the necessary steps for rectification of the lapses, if any, in implementation of the statutory provisions.  [Taxation Bar Assn. v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi, 2016 SCC OnLine Del 5174, decided on 16.09.2016]

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