Daily Express Vs. Assistant State Tax Officer – 2019 (24) G.S.T.L. 26 (High Court – Kerala)

Non-filing of Part-B of E-Way Bill cannot be considered as minor breach of the provisions under Section126 of the GST law. 

Facts: In this case, the petitioner assessee is a transporting firm, engaged in Lorries as carriers of goods in India. While petitioner was transporting goods the vehicle was intercepted by the Competent authorities. The Authorities after conducting the inspection, detained the vehicle on the ground that all the documents were in order except the Part-B of the E-way bill was incomplete. Further, they imposed penalty under section 129 of the Act.

The petitioner assessee contended that the in accordance with the provisions of Section 126 of the CGST Act, no penalty shall be imposable for minor breaches of tax regulations or procedural requirements and in particular, any omission or mistake in documentation which is easily rectifiable and made without fraudulent intent. It was further contended that they are transporter and not the owners of the goods being transported and penalty should, if charged, be done on consignor or consignee they being the owners. The maximum penalty that can be imposed should be related to incomplete documents as specified under Sections 122 or 125 of the CGST Act, 2021. Also the penalty which was imposed is atrocious.

Issue: Whether incomplete documents i.e. non filling of Part B of E-Way Bill during transportation of goods should be considered as minor breach of the provisions under Section 126 of the CGST Act, 2017 or it will attract penalty under Section 129 of the CGST Act, 2017.

Held: The Hon’ble Kerala High Court stated that the Section 129 clearly specifies, where a person transporting any goods or the owner of the goods, fails to pay the amount of tax and penalty as provided in sub-section (1) within 14 days of such detention or seizure, further proceedings shall be initiated in accordance with the provisions of section 130. Also, Section 129 presides over Sections 122, 125 and 126 and therefore, non-filing of Part-B of E-Way bill cannot be interpreted as minor breach under Section 126 of the CGST Act, 2017 and therefore goods are liable for proceeding under Section 129 and Section 130 of the CGST Act, 2017. Accordingly, the case was dismissed in favour of Revenue.




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