Understanding the Calcutta High Court’s Decision on GST and Input Tax Credit: A Critical Analysis


In a pivotal judgment, the Calcutta High Court has delivered a comprehensive decision in the matter of M/S BBA Infrastructure Limited vs. Senior Joint Commissioner of State Tax and Others (MAT No. 1099 of 2023). The judgment, pronounced by the Hon’ble Mr. Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Mr. Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, sheds light on critical aspects of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act, particularly focusing on the contentious issue of Input Tax Credit (ITC) under Section 16 of the Act.

Background of the Case

  • Appellant: M/S BBA Infrastructure Limited
  • Respondents: Senior Joint Commissioner of State Tax and Others
  • Key Issue: Eligibility and restrictions on claiming Input Tax Credit under the GST Act.

Case Details

The appellant contested the denial of Input Tax Credit (ITC) amounting to Rs. 28,65,780/- for the period from November 2018 to March 2019. The primary contention was the statutory time limit for claiming ITC under Section 16(4) of the GST Act.

Court’s Observations and Judgment

  1. Interpretation of Section 16 of the GST Act:
  • The court emphasized the need to read Section 16(1), 16(2), and 16(4) conjointly, noting that they complement rather than contradict each other.
  • Section 16(2) specifies the eligibility criteria for availing ITC, which is a fundamental provision with restrictions outlined in subsequent sub-sections.
  1. Time Limit for Claiming ITC:
  • The court upheld the statutory time limit under Section 16(4) as a mandatory provision. It stated that this provision does not render Section 16(2) meaningless but rather puts a reasonable restriction on the time frame within which ITC can be claimed.
  1. Legal Precedents and Legislative Intent:
  • The judgment referenced several landmark decisions, including Union of India vs. Bharti Airtel Ltd, to affirm the principles governing the interpretation of tax statutes.
  • The court opined that legislative intent is crucial, and the time limit under Section 16(4) aligns with the objective of preventing tax evasion and ensuring timely compliance.
  1. Final Decision:
  • The Calcutta High Court dismissed the appeal and the writ petition, affirming the validity of Section 16(4) of the GST Act and the denial of ITC to the appellant.

Analysis and Implications

  • Striking a Balance: This judgment balances the need for compliance with the procedural aspects of the GST Act against the rights of taxpayers to claim ITC.
  • Legal Certainty for Businesses: It provides clarity on the statutory requirements for claiming ITC, thereby guiding businesses on compliance with GST provisions.
  • Preventing Tax Evasion: By upholding the time limit for claiming ITC, the court reinforces the mechanism to prevent tax evasion and ensure fiscal discipline among taxpayers.


The Calcutta High Court’s judgment in the case of M/S BBA Infrastructure Limited is a landmark decision that clarifies the intricacies of claiming Input Tax Credit under the GST regime. It underscores the importance of adhering to statutory timelines and the need for businesses to align their tax practices accordingly. This judgment is a testament to the evolving landscape of GST law in India, emphasizing compliance and precision in tax matters.

This article, based on the detailed analysis of the Calcutta High Court’s judgment, aims to provide a clear understanding of the legal principles and practical implications surrounding GST and Input Tax Credit. The full text of the judgment and related GST legislation should be consulted for a comprehensive understanding.