Delhi High Court appoints Arvind Datar as Amicus Curiae in challenge to IGST on import of oxygen concentrators as gift for personal use
The Delhi High Court has appointed Senior Advocate Arvind Datar as Amicus Curiae in the challenge to the imposition of Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) on the import of oxygen concentrators as gift for personal use (Gurcharan Singh vs UOI).
Pending a final decision in the petition, a Division Bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Talwant Singh directed that the oxygen concentrator being imported by the petitioner be released by the custom authorities, subject to his depositing with the Court an amount equivalent to the IGST payable.
The petitioner before Court is an 85-year-old COVID-19 patient whose nephew sent an oxygen generator as gift from USA. It had been contended that imposition of any sort of levy by the State on the import of oxygen/oxygen generators for personal use abridges the right to have oxygen, which is part of the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
Earlier this week, the Court had opined that there was no reason why the Central government should not grant exemption from imposition of IGST on the import of oxygen concentrators as gift for personal use. It had even requested that its order be placed before the Union Finance Minister.
Yesterday, GD Lohani, Joint Secretary of the Union Ministry of Finance joined the proceedings and informed the Court that no final decision had been taken in the matter.
The Court thereafter issued notice in the petition and proceeded to issue an interim order in favour of the petitioner.