Delhi High Court: Charging IGST on imported oxygen concentrators received as gifts for personal use is unconstitutional

Case – Gurujan Singh v. Union of India

Earlier, the IGST on imported oxygen concentrators for commercial use was 12%, whereas it is 28% for importers who receive oxygen concentrators for personal use.

A notification on May 1st has reduced the IGST rate to 12% for importers who receive it as a gift for personal use.A petition was filed by an 85 year old man, who received an oxygen concentrator from his nephew as a gift.

But the oxygen concentrator was held back and the customs have to be paid in order to avail the concentrator.The petitioner, through Senior Advocate Sudhir Nandrajog stated that imposition of IGST on oxygen concentrators as a gift for personal use is violative of right to life under Article 21.

It was submitted by the Amicus Curiae, Senior Advocate Aravind Datar that it is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution to include (personal use gifts and commercial use) in the same tax bracket, unless the Government has a valid explanation.

Although it was argued by the respondent, Advocate Zoheb Hussain that such an imposition of taxes is required to prevent black marketing and profiteering.

A Division Bench of the Court consisting of Justice Rajiv Shakder and Justice Talwant Singh stated that imposition of IGST on oxygen concentrators which are imported by individuals and received by them as gifts [free of cost] for personal use, is unconstitutional.

The Bench also quashed the order dated May 1st, 2021.

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