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Writ Petition not maintainable as Statutory Alternative Remedy

  • 29 Oct 2021
  • Pankaj Kumar
  • 108

The Madras High Court held that the writ petition not maintainable as Statutory Alternative Remedy is available for challenging re-assessment orders under TNVAT Act. The single bench of Justice M.Sundar while dismissing as many as 6 petitions assailing six separate revisional or re-assessment orders under Section 27 of ‘Tamil Nadu Value Added Tax Act, 2006 held that this is not a case for exercising writ jurisdiction for interference qua impugned orders. Therefore, the campaign against impugned orders in writ jurisdiction in the captioned main writ petitions fail. However, it is made clear that it is open to the writ petitioner to avail alternate remedy under Section 51 of TNVAT Act, if the writ petitioner chooses to do so, subject to limitation and pre- deposit conditions set out therein, i.e., if the writ petitioner satisfies these conditions and takes alternate remedy route i.e., statutory appeal, the Appellate Authority shall deal with the appeals on its own merits and in accordance with law, uninfluenced by any of the observations made in this order.

The petitioner, M/s.Kanunga Extrusion Private Limited has been given an opportunity of personal hearing vide communication dated 11.02.2021 (cited in reference as No.3 in the impugned orders), but the writ petitioner did not respond/avail the same. Therefore, the only grievance of the writ petitioner is, mismatch ought to have been examined by the Assessing Officer though the writ petitioner has not responded. However, Revenue pointed out that it would have been examined if the dealer/writ petitioner had responded. It may not be necessary to delve further into this aspect of the matter, owing to alternate remedy that is available to the writ petitioner i.e., statutory appeal under Section 51 of TNVAT Act. There is no disputation or disagreement before this Court that alternate remedy against impugned orders is available to writ petitioner-dealer by way of statutory appeal under Section 51 of TNVAT Act.

“This takes us to alternate remedy rules. Law is well settled that alternate remedy rule is not an absolute rule. In other words, alternate remedy rule is a discretionary rule and it is a self-imposed restraint qua writ jurisdiction. In this scenario, in a long line of authorities i.e., catena of case laws, Hon’ble Supreme Court has repeatedly held that alternate remedy rule though not absolute, should be applied with utmost rigour,” the court said.