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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

IGST on imported oxygen concentrators for personal use ‘unconstitutional’: Delhi HC

Quashing the May 1 notification by the Centre which reduced the IGST rate from 28 per cent to 12 per cent, a division bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Talwant Singh said that life-saving drugs would also include oxygen concentrators.

Written by Sofi Ahsan | New Delhi |
Updated: May 21, 2021 6:02:33 pm
A volunteer shows an oxygen concentrator machine at the Guru Tegh Bahadur Covid Care Centre at the Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in New Delhi. (PTI)

The Delhi High Court on Friday ruled that the Centre’s decision to continue with the imposition of 12 per cent Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) on import of oxygen concentrators by individuals for personal use is “unconstitutional”.

Quashing the May 1 notification by the Centre which reduced the IGST rate from 28 per cent to 12 per cent, a division bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Talwant Singh said that life-saving drugs would also include oxygen concentrators. “Oxygen concentrator on the face of it is a life-saving device,” the court said.

The verdict came on a plea challenging imposition of IGST on the import of oxygen generators and concentrators as a gift for personal use.

“It makes no sense. How much are you going to collect from the citizens with this? This must be brought to the notice of the highest in the ministry including Minister of Finance,” the court had earlier told the Centre.

The court also said that it is one of the rare petitions wherein tax jurisdiction Article 21 has been invoked. “That tax is an exaction by the state is well known. That its levy and collection, ordinarily, does not encompass equity, is also well known. But, presently, we are living in difficult times and therefore, perhaps, the petitioner has invoked Article 21 of the Constitution,” it said.

The Centre had told the court that it has exempted imposition of IGST on oxygen concentrators imported by the state government, or via any entity, relief agency or statutory body, authorised by the state government till June 30.

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