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Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal By: Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal
March 25, 2023
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Meaning of Notification

Under section 2(80) of the CGST Act, 2017, 'notification' has been defined to mean a notification published in the Official Gazette and the expressions 'notify' and 'notified'  shall be construed accordingly.

Notification is a written or printed matter that gives notice. It should be published with a date. The place of publication should be in the Official Gazette.

It is an act of announcement or notifying, act of making known, an intimation or notice, act of giving official notice or information by words, by writing or by other means. The 'notification' in the Official Gazette is made with the intention that in the case of either grant or withdrawal of exemption, the public must come to know of the same. The date of notification or the date of publication or the date of gazette does not count for notification' but it is the date on which the gazette is made available to the public would  amount to 'notification'. Printing the official gazette and stacking them without releasing to the public would not amount to 'notification' at all. [ASIA TOBACCO COMPANY LIMITED VERSUS UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS (AND OTHER WRIT PETITIONS) - 1984 (8) TMI 48 - MADRAS HIGH COURT ; UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS. (AND OTHER WRIT PETITIONS) VERSUS ASIA TOBACCO COMPANY LIMITED - 1989 (7) TMI 6 - MADRAS HIGH COURT] .

The terms, 'notify' or 'notified' means notified on official Gazette implying notice given. It means to inform or to give notice.

When an earlier notification is amended by a later notification, the words the ‘date of this notification’ occurring in the proviso so substituted will refer to the date of the earlier notification and not to the date of the later notification.

Power to Issue to Notifications

Any statute is complete only with delegated legislation which could be in the form of rules (duly empowered to notify such rules by way of notification) and notifications issued to prescribe manner, procedure or guidelines to carry out the objective of statute. Rules and notifications are integral part of law and are binding on all.

Under the GST law, there is power to issue notifications. Section 11 of the CGST empowers the Government to grant exemption by way of notifications. Certain other powers like levy of tax, power to make rules, power to make regulations, delegation of powers etc can be exercised by way of notification.

Assertions based on Judicial Pronouncements

Following points are relevant to understand the nature of notification :

  1. Notification cannot override the rules which are statutorily made.
  2. A notification has no force unless empowered by the law / rules
  3. The power to issue retrospective notification comes from the statute
  4. The notification must be read in the context of the provision.
  5. When two views of notification are possible, it should be construed in favour of the subject because notification is a part of fiscal statute
  6. Notification must be read in a meaningful manner, so as to give effect to the provisions of law.


By: Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal - March 25, 2023



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