|Case No.||WP 10736/2020||Date of Filing||31/08/2020||Status||Pending||Petitioners||Karnataka Rajya Vikalachetanara Rakshana Samiti||Respondents||Union of India, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Union of India, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Union of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue|
The Petitioner, Karnataka Rajya Vikalachetanara Rakshana Samiti, a not-for-profit organization has filed this present Public Interest Litigation challenging the amendment notification dated 30.9.2019 which has made amendments to the GST Act and the order dated 24.10.2019 imposing guidelines for the issue of GST concession certificate of purchase of vehicles by the persons with Orthopedic Physical Disability.
The Amendment imposes completely arbitrary conditions on availing of the concessional GST of 18% on cars by persons with disabilities. It not only restricts only persons with orthopaedic disability to avail of this concession, but it also restricts this only to small cars and not larger models, it requires an application to be made to seek permission and also does not allow the purchase of a second car if a previous purchase has been made. Hence this would mean that the concession is available only to persons with physical orthopaedic disability and not any other disability, such as hearing impairment or speech disability for example and only limited to small cars and not larger cars such as sedans or bigger models.
The Petitioner submits that the present petition challenges the constitutional validity of the amendment made; and submitted that the impugned Amendment and Order arbitrarily discriminate among different groups of disabilities, and reduces access to all modes of transport that is available to them by restricting it to only motor vehicles of length not exceeding 4000 mm and of a specific engine capacity and imposes other conditions that violate the rights of persons with disabilities.
The Petitioner also submitted that the Section 41(2) of the RPWD Act which mandates that concessions would be provided for vehicles for persons with disabilities does not state that such concessions can be restricted to only some disabilities. Section 41 of the RPWD Act does not distinguish between different types of disabilities. In Union of India v. National Federation of the Blind & Ors, the Hon’ble Supreme Court stated that the PWD Act is social legislation enacted for the benefit of persons with disabilities and its provisions must be interpreted in order to fulfil its objectives and hence it was submitted that the Respondent had not adhered to the plain and unambiguous mandate of the Act. Hence restricting the GST concessions only for persons with an orthopaedic disability, is in complete violation of the said legislation and deserves to be set aside.
The Relief Interim that can be sought are:
- Issue a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate writ, order or direction, quashing the Amendment Notification dated 30.9.2019 bearing No. 14 / 2019-Integrated Tax (Rate) marked as ANNEXURE – H making amendments to the Goods and Services Act 2017 in Sl. 400 in the Schedule III pertaining to “Cars for Physically handicapped persons” and imposing restrictive conditions to the same
- Issue a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate writ, order or direction, quashing the Order bearing No. F. No: 12(42)/2015-AEI dated 24.10.2019 marked as ANNEXURE – J, and
- Grant any other relief, which the Hon’ble Court deems fit in the circumstances of the case in the interests of justice and equity.
The matter is listed before a bench comprising of the Hon’ble Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka along with the Hon’ble Justice S Vishwajith Shetty. The next date of hearing is 13.01.2021.