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New Delhi:

In a relief to telecom major Bharti Airtel, the Delhi High Court has directed the Centre to verify the company’s claim of excess GST of Rs 923 crore within two weeks and refund the amount once verified.

Bharti Airtel alleged that there was the excess payment of taxes, by way of cash, to the tune of around Rs 923 crores.

“This was occasioned to a great degree due to non-operationalization of Forms GSTR-2A, GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 and the system-related checks which could have forewarned the petitioner about the mistake. Petitioner now desires to correct its returns, but is being prevented from doing so, as there is no enabling statutory procedure implemented by the Government,” said the judgement copy.

“We also direct the Respondents that on the filing of the rectified Form GSTR-3B, they shall, within a period of two weeks, verify the claim made therein and give effect to the same once verified,” the High Court said.

Rajat Mohan, Senior Partner at AMRG & ASSOCIATES said that the Delhi High Court has permitted the petitioner to avail additional tax credit by allowing rectification of Form GSTR-3B for the period to which the error relates, July to September 2017.

“The petitioner alleged that there is an additional payment of taxes to the tune of Rs 923 crores and such additional credit is expected to adversely impact the tax collections for the current month. This ruling would help give respite to many taxpayers who are unable to file for rectification of previously filed tax returns,” he said.

The court order said that the refund of excess cash balance in terms of Section 49 (6) read with Section 54 of the CGST Act doesn’t effectively redress the petitioner’s grievance. Therefore, the only remedy that can enable the petitioner to enjoy the benefit of the seamless utilization of the input tax credit is by way of rectification of its annual return, GSTR-3B, it added.

On the back of the judgement, the company’s shares surged on Tuesday. Around 3 p.m., Bharti Airtel shares on the BSE were trading at Rs 545.60, higher by Rs 17.75 or 3.36 per cent from the previous close.

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