Setting aside Union Finance Ministry's submission that maximum possible tax relief has been given on the COVID relief front, the Delhi High Court today ruled that charge of Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) on imports of oxygen concentrators meant for personal use or gift is 'unconstitutional'.
While delivering its judgment on the petition filed by an 85-year old COVID patient whose relative had sent oxygen concentrator from the US, the High court also quashed a May 1 circular of the Finance Ministry notifying 12 per cent IGST on oxygen concentrators imported for personal use or gift.
The bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Talwant Singh said, "We hold that imposition of IGST on oxygen concentrators that are imported by individual and are received by them as gifts (i.e. free of cost) for personal use is unconstitutional."
A May 3 notification of the Ministry of Finance, meanwhile, exempted the import of oxygen concentrators for charity from IGST in view of the pandemic.
While hearing the petition challenging the imposition of the tax on concentrators, the High Court had asked the ministry to consider exempting them for the personal use and gift category too.
However, the government counsel told the bench earlier this month that the matter had been escalated to the highest level in the Finance Ministry, which is of the view that maximum relief has already been provided in the form of IGST cut on import of oxygen concentrators from 28 per cent to 12 per cent.