Gujarat High Court rejects PIL saying GST council decision violates MCC

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Published: November 16, 2017 6:09:30 AM

The Gujarat High Court today dismissed a PIL which sought that the decisions taken by the GST council at its Guwahati meeting be declared null and void on the ground that it violated the model code of conduct (MCC).

The petitioner, Sandip Sharma, had argued in his petition that the decision to reduce Goods and Services Tax (GST) on a host of items at its meeting held on November 10 in Guwahati violates the MCC. (IE)

The Gujarat High Court today dismissed a PIL which sought that the decisions taken by the GST council at its Guwahati meeting be declared null and void on the ground that it violated the model code of conduct (MCC).
The division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi today dismissed the PIL saying that the GST Council was an independent body and its decision did not violate the model code of conduct, which is in force in Gujarat that goes to polls on December 9 and December 14.

The petitioner, Sandip Sharma, had argued in his petition that the decision to reduce Goods and Services Tax (GST) on a host of items at its meeting held on November 10 in Guwahati violates the MCC. The petitioner said since the elections have been announced in Gujarat, the decision by the GST council to cut tax and introduce new GST rates on various items may influence the voters and was a violation of the MCC, which came into force from October 25.

He said that the decisions taken by the Centre through the GST council was “absolutely politically motivated” as there was no major decision in its earlier 22 meetings, and “suddenly” major decisions were taken in its 23rd meeting. The petitioner said that he was not concerned with the merit or demerit of the decisions taken at the council meet, and was only concerned with the “open violation of the model code of conduct”. As many as 178 items of daily use were shifted from the top tax bracket of 28 per cent to 18 per cent, while a uniform 5 per cent tax was prescribed for all restaurants (both air-conditioned and non-AC).

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