GST relief to Airtel: Govt moves Supreme Court against High Court's order

The Sunil Mittal-led carrier had pleaded that it had paid an excess amount of Rs 923 crore as tax since the GSTR-2A form was not operational during the error period. However, the government claims that Airtel had under-reported input tax credit fr...

NEW DELHI: The government has moved Supreme Court against Delhi High Court’s May 5 order which allowed Bharti Airtel to claim Rs 923 crore as refund of excess Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns filed by the telecom company in July-September 2017.

The petition has been filed against four respondents -- Bharti Airtel, the GST Council through its secretary, commissioner through the finance ministry's department of revenue commissioner and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) via its chairman.

Airtel’s advocate Rahul Jain, on Tuesday, took the petition on record and filed a caveat which will prevent the court from passing any order before the telco is given a chance to present its case.


In a major relief to the company, in May, the HC had directed the government to verify the excess GST claim within two weeks of the order and refund the amount to Bharti Airtel.

The Sunil Mittal-led carrier had pleaded that it had paid an excess amount of Rs 923 crore as tax since the GSTR-2A form was not operational during the error period. However, the government claims that Airtel had under-reported input tax credit from July to September 2017.

“Since there were no checks on Form GSTR-3B, which was manually filled by the petitioner, the excess payment of tax went unnoticed,” said a copy of the high court order delivered May 5. It added that Airtel “desires to correct its returns,” but is being prevented from doing so as there is no enabling statutory procedure implemented by the government.
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Accordingly, the high court has directed that on the filing of a rectified Form GSTR-3B, “the respondents (read: Union of India) shall within two weeks, verify the (Airtel's) claim” and give effect to the same once verified”.

Airtel stock closed 1.04% lower at Rs 561.25 per piece on Wednesday.
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