HC: Rules on importer’s entitlement to IGST-refund on ‘ocean freight’ as levy remains ‘unconstitutional’

Gujarat HC allows refund of IGST paid on ocean freight in light of Top Court’s dicta in case of Mohit Minerals which struck down the levy stemming from Notification No.10/2017 dated June 28, 2017 (IGST Reverse Charge Notification); In turn, allows refund to assessee basis principle of unjust enrichment and clarifies that when the IGST Reverse Charge Notification for levy of IGST on ocean freight is held to be unconstitutional, assessee/ importer is entitled to the refund of such IGST on ocean freight paid under protest; Citing ‘trite law’ that “once the Apex Court declares a Notification being ultra vires and unconstitutional, such law becomes the law of land and is liable to be followed by the respondent authorities without raising any objection.” observes that the Assistant Commissioner of CGST and Central Excise (Revenue) could not have rejected the claim of assessee for refund of ocean freight;  Accordingly, directs Revenue to verify and grant refund of IGST on ocean freight paid by assessee and allows writ petition