MEENA AGENCY LIMITED VERSUS STATE OF GUJARAT

Seizure of vehicle alongwith the goods – failure to generate E-way bill – section 130 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 – HELD THAT:- The court is of the opinion that the petitioner may respond to the notice issued under section 130 of the CGST Act and submit its response thereto. It appears that the petitioner has already given a reply dated 19.09.2019, Annexure ‘F’ to the petition. Nonetheless, if the petitioner is desirous to make any further submissions, he may appear before the second respondent on 04.10.2019.

The petition is partly allowed with a direction to the second respondent to forthwith release the truck along with the goods contained therein as the petitioner has already paid the amount of tax and penalty, subject to the final outcome of the proceedings under section 130 of the CGST Act and under other relevant statutory provisions.

No.- R/SPECIAL CIVIL APPLICATION NO. 16373 of 2019

Dated.- September 27, 2019

MS HARSHA DEVANI AND MS SANGEETA K. VISHEN, JJ.

For The Petitioner (s) : MR. APURVA N MEHTA (7202)

For The Petitioner (s) : VIJAY H PATEL (7361) AND NOTICE SERVED BY DS (5)

ORAL JUDGMENT

(PER : HONOURABLE MS.JUSTICE HARSHA DEVANI)

1. Heard, Mr. Apurva Mehta, learned advocate for the petitioner and Ms. Maithili Mehta, learned Assistant Government Pleader for the respondents.

2. Issue Rule. Ms. Maithili Mehta, learned Assistant Government Pleader waives service of notice of rule on behalf of the respondents.

3. Having regard to the controversy involved in the present case which lies in a very narrow compass and with the consent of the learned advocates for the respective parties, the matter is taken up for final hearing today.

4. The facts stated briefly are that the petitioner is a limited company engaged in the business of manufacturing Calcined Bauxite, got orders of supply of Calcined Bauxite from one Calderys India Refractories Limited, Madhya Pradesh. It is the case of the petitioner that it generated tax invoice dated 15.09.2019 for the value of goods and the same was given to the transporter and the transport receipt also came to be generated. It is further the case of the petitioner that there were total three consignments pertaining to different buyers and two e-way bills for two invoices were generated, however, out of inadvertence, the petitioner failed to generate e-way bill in connection with the aforesaid invoice. While the goods were being transported, the same came to be intercepted by the second respondent and were detained/seized on the ground that e-way bill was not tendered by the petitioner. Therefore, the second respondent issued impugned notice for confiscation of the goods under section 130 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the CGST Act’) and provisions of other relevant statutes.

5. While the main contention raised in the petition is that the respondents ought to have first resorted to the provisions of section 129 of the CGST Act, in the light of the view that the court is inclined to take in the matter, it is not necessary to delve into the said controversy.

6. Mr. Apurva Mehta, learned advocate for the petitioner has stated that immediately upon the vehicle being seized on 17.09.2019, the petitioner paid the amount of tax and penalty on 18/19.09.2019. It was submitted that, therefore, the goods and the conveyance seized by the respondents may be released subject to the final outcome of the proceedings under section 130 of the CGST Act. It is submitted that the petitioner is an established agency and is not a fly-by-night operator and hence, the respondents have no reason to apprehend that if, ultimately, any order is passed against the petitioner, they would not be in a position to recover the differential amount.

7. Ms. Maithili Mehta, learned Assistant Government Pleader is not in a position to dispute the aforesaid facts.

8. A perusal of the impugned notice dated 17.09.2019 issued in Form GST MOV 10 reveals that the petitioner has been called upon to appear before the second respondent on 04.10.2019 at 11:00 a.m.

8.1 Under the circumstances, the court is of the opinion that the petitioner may respond to the notice issued under section 130 of the CGST Act and submit its response thereto. It appears that the petitioner has already given a reply dated 19.09.2019, Annexure ‘F’ to the petition. Nonetheless, if the petitioner is desirous to make any further submissions, he may appear before the second respondent on 04.10.2019.

9. In the light of the above, the petition is partly allowed with a direction to the second respondent to forthwith release the truck No. RJ-09-GA-4286 along with the goods contained therein as the petitioner has already paid the amount of tax and penalty, subject to the final outcome of the proceedings under section 130 of the CGST Act and under other relevant statutory provisions.

9.1 The petitioner shall appear before the second respondent on 04.10.2019 at 10:00 a.m. The second respondent, after giving an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner and considering the reply submitted by it, shall pass a reasoned order as envisaged under section 130 of the CGST Act.

9.2 Rule is made absolute accordingly. Direct service is permitted.

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