The High Court at Kerala moved the Goods and Services Tax Council to register a list of statements explaining the reasons for its decision of not including petroleum products within the extent of GST. Division Bench consisting of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly ordered the GST Council to file a statement concerning the reasons. The bench gave a time limit of ten days to the Council. The bench of Justice Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly heard a Public Interest Litigation Petition filed by an organization named Kerala Pradesh Gandhi Darshanvedi, which works towards achieving a welfare state.
The Public Interest Litigation was filed through Adv. Arun Varghese, the petition claimed that a recent rise in petrol and diesel prices has not only caused chaos on general economic stability but also the lives of the common man belonging to the lower-income strata. It was noted that different rates are charged for Petrol, Diesel in various states due to different tax rates imposed by the State Government under the 'Fragmented Taxing Policies.'
According to the Petitioner, the difference in the rates spoils the goal of a united national market as listed under Article 279A(6) of the Indian Constitution. It was further added, that the petroleum firms have to fix crude oil prices based on the market forces, the rate of taxes imposed by the Central Government and State Government accounts for 60 per cent of the total price of petrol and diesel.
However, if Petrol and Diesel are brought under the GST throughout the nation the maximum tax rate will be 28 per cent. The petitioner had earlier moved the Court regarding the concern of bringing down the petroleum prices under the GST regime however since there was no response for the same, thus the petitioner approached the High Court for the second time.
Court's Decision - The High Court at Kerala held that the GST Council cannot be ordered to make any decision and asked the GST Council to move the Union of India for an appropriate decision.
Tags : keralahighcourt, GST, GST Council, Petrol, Diesel, JusticeManikumar, JusticeChaly, PIL, Kerala Pradesh Gandhi Darshanvedi, commonman,