The Economic Times
English EditionEnglish Editionहिन्दी
| E-Paper
Search
+

    HC rejects plea seeking to classify masks, sanitisers as essential commodities

    Synopsis

    The court on Tuesday said face masks and alcohol-based sanitisers are now easily available, and hence there is no need to regulate their supplies. “Rate of tax cannot be challenged in a court of law unless it is abundantly confiscatory in nature. In the facts of the present case, nothing has been argued out about how the present rate of GST is confiscatory in law,” the judgement said.

    PTI
    Coronavirus

    COVID-19 CASES

    Confirmed
    7,946,429
    Deaths
    119,502
    The Delhi High Court has dismissed a public interest litigation seeking classification of face masks and alcohol-based sanitisers as essential commodities and reduction of goods and services tax (GST) on the latter to 12% or 5%.

    The court on Tuesday said face masks and alcohol-based sanitisers are now easily available, and hence there is no need to regulate their supplies.

    “We see no reason to issue mandamus and direct the respondents to extend the notification dated 13th March, 2020 or to include the masks and sanitisers as ‘essential commodities’ under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955,” Chief Justice Prateek Jalan said in the judgement.

    The GST on alcohol-based sanitisers is currently 18%.

    “Rate of tax cannot be challenged in a court of law unless it is abundantly confiscatory in nature. In the facts of the present case, nothing has been argued out about how the present rate of GST is confiscatory in law,” the judgement said.

    The court also noted that the government has removed face masks and alcohol-based sanitisers from under the essential commodities category and is not regulating their prices anymore.

    Face masks and alcohol-based sanitisers were included under the Essential Commodities Act in March after the coronavirus outbreak. The notification was in force till June 30. The government had issued a similar directive on regulating prices of face masks and alcohol-based sanitisers, also in March, but decided not to continue with it, as per a July 1 notification, the court said in the order.

    The government, represented by Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, however, said the government will monitor the situation carefully and take remedial action, if required.

    The court also dismissed the contention that in the absence of regulation, manufacturers and traders may take advantage of the situation. It termed it as “conjecture” and said regulation cannot be based on it.
    (Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

    Download The Economic Times News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.

    Also Read

    The Economic Times