- Vide decision of High Court of Madras in Ideal Movers (P.) limited vs. State tax Officer.
Facts of the case:
- The Petitioner is a transporter and had been engaged to transport a consignment.
- The consignment was accompanied by invoices and an E-way bill.
- E- way bill was generated on 12-01-2020 and valid till 16-01-2020. As the lorry had broke-down and parked in a garage with damage in the gearbox. There was a delay in the repair due to Pongal holidays and the generated e-way bill got expired.
- The lorry proceeded to deliver the goods to the destination with an expired e-way bill which was detained by the authorities for non – possession of valid e-way bill.
- One of the grounds taken by the petitioner is that no valid Goods Detention Notice has been issued by the respondent. However, records that were summoned reveal that notice in terms of Section 129(3) of the Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 (in short ‘Act’) has been issued and served on the lorry driver. On being confronted with these facts, the petitioner does not pursue this ground thereafter.
- What remains is the question of quantifying the remittance required, conditional upon which, the goods are liable to be released.
The Honorable High Court of Madras held the case as follows:
- Section 129 is a complete code for the purpose of addressing all violations committed in transit leading to detention, seizure, and release of goods and brings within its sweep all such contraventions, irrespective of the gravity of the violation itself.
- This observation is made in response to the submission of the petitioner that the offense, in this case, is only the lapsing of the e-way bill, and that too for bonafide reasons, and this offense may not be viewed very harshly.
- The Court may, in this regard refer to Chapter 16 of the Central CST Rules 2017, setting out the E-way Rules in Rule 138. The second proviso under Rule 138(10) permits a transporter to extend the validity of the expired e-way after updating the details in the relevant Form and this benefit would be available in a case such as the present.
- In fine, the amount to be remitted would, in terms of Section 129(1)(b) each towards CGST and SGST.