The Delhi High court on Wednesday admitted a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the anti-profiteering provision under the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The petition was filed by the Gurugram-based real estate developer Pyramid Infratech which was held guilty of profiteering by National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) last month. The court has posted the matter for hearing on November 20.
“This is the first case of anti-profiteering when the constitutional validity of the provisions is challenged. The provisions lack procedural mechanism to determine the quantum of profiteering and hence the doctrine of void for vagueness at some point of time will come into discussion,” said Abhishek A Rastogi, partner at Khaitan & Co, who is arguing for the petitioner.
So far, NAA has delivered nine orders and found the companies guilty of profiteering in four of them while exonerating the firms in the rest of the cases. In its first order against a real estate firm, NAA held that Pyramid Infratech was guilty of not passing the benefit of input tax credit (ITC) accrued to it under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. The order has asked the builder to refund the profiteered amount of Rs 8.23 crore to 2,476 buyers with an interest of 18% on the excess amount collected.
Over a 100 home buyers from the two Gurugram housing projects being developed by the firm had complained against the builder. The authority has ordered the firm to refund the excess amount within three months.