“Further, I find that the respondent in their cross reply admitted that, scanned copied of few more Declaration and undertakings were uploaded as attachments with FORM GST RFD-01 submitted electronically through the common portal, but by oversight these Declaration and undertakings were not physically signed before scanning and attaching with FORM GST RFD—1……”
Hon’ble High Court observed that there is no requirement for a physical signature on the documents which is required to be uploaded on the GST Portal in terms of Rule 89 and Rule 26 of the CGST Rules, 2017.
Further, it has been held that if the declaration is digitally authenticated in the matter prescribed under Rule 26 of the CGST Rules, 2017, then non-submission of physically signed and scanned declaration may only be an irregularity but not an illegality. Hence, the order rejecting refund claim passed by the Appellate authority is not sustainable as per law.
Accordingly, the Hon’ble High Court set aside the order passed the Appellate Authority and confirm the order passed by the Assistant Commissioner stands revived and will ensure the benefit of the petitioner to claim its refund.
Refund cannot be rejected in case the taxpayer fulfilled all its legal requirements. Further, it is not mandatory to upload a physically signed scanned copy of the document under Rule 89(2)(f) of the CGST Rules 2017.
The relevant extract has been iterated below for ease of reference-
Rule 89 of the CGST Rule, 2017 – Application of refund of tax, interest, penalty, fees or any other amount-
Rule 26 of the CGST Rule, 2017 – Method of Authentication
“All applications, including reply, if any, to the notices, returns including the details of outward and inward supplies, appeals or any other document required to be submitted under the provisions of these rules shall be so submitted electronically with digital signature certificate or through e-signature as specified under the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000) or verified by any other mode of signature or verification as notified by the Board in this behalf”
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