Podder & Podder Industries Private Limited Vs. State of Tripura and others – MANU/TR/0209/2022 (High Court – Tripura)

Vehicle cannot be stopped on expiry of E-way bill, if the transaction is genuine. 

Facts:

  • The Petitioner is engaged in the business of selling of construction machinery and sold certain construction material to a buyer in Agartala from Silchar (State of Assam).
  • The said machine was transported through a Truck/Trailer used for transporting the material from Silchar to Agartala.
  • That the vehicle was carrying all valid documents pertaining to machinery including the E-way bill valid up to 03.2022 however due to some technical problem in the vehicle carrying the goods, the vehicle reached at Churaibari on 18.03.2022 and by that time the E-will bill has expired.
  • For the aforesaid reason, the vehicle was detained on 03.2022 and stopped at the entry point of the State of Tripura and the driver in charge was informed of the seizure of vehicle as well as the goods. Hence the present writ petition has been filed.

Petitioner’s Plea:

  • It was submitted on the behalf of the petitioner that the said E-way bill has been issued by the buyer namely, Sri Swapan Chandra Dey who is a registered contractor in the state of Tripura and the equipment has been purchased by the buyer for performing a contractual obligation to the State of Tripura under a contract entered into by him.
  • The seizure of vehicle at the entry point of the State has caused an impediment on the free flow of goods and services with the Union of India.
  • The Petitioner further submitting that the denial of entry of the vehicle in the State of Tripura amounts to the impediment on the free flow of goods, informed that they had only 8-hour window as per Rule 138 (10) of the CGST Rules, 2017 to seek extension.

On the other hand, it was submitted on the behalf of the respondents that the authorities were not left with any option other than to stop and seize the vehicle along with goods, as the petitioner did not seek extension as required under law and the date of entry of vehicle in the State was 18.03.2022 which was after the expiry of E-way bill i.e., 17.03.2022.

Held:

  • The Hon’ble Court after considering the submissions made from the both sides, facts of the case and the law on the subject, observed that the free flow and movement of goods and services throughout the Union of India is meant to be for the purpose of development of the nation.
  • There is no doubt that the authorities have imposed conditions such as E-way bill for the transportation of Goods, at the same time it must not be ignored that E-way has been issued by a registered dealer under the GST to cover the goods in transit.
  • There was no doubt regarding the genuineness of the transaction and the said fact has been admitted on behalf of the respondents.
  • The Hon’ble Court after considering the facts of the case, held that when the transaction is between two registered dealers and all the relevant documents were available, the genuineness of the transaction is not in dispute, the vehicle carrying such goods ought to be permitted to enter the State and continue with such carrying subject to an opportunity to the buyer or seller to appear before the assessing officer and make necessary compliance as required.
  • Further, it was held that when the transaction admittedly is between the two registered dealers located in two different States, there is no justification for stoppage of vehicle carrying goods.
  • The Hon’ble Court considering the fact that there is a need of bringing balance between the transportation of goods and taxing event, held that when the transaction is between the two registered dealers, there is no doubt about the genuineness of the transaction and all the relevant documents including E-way bill, as require under law, are available, the goods ought not to be stopped instead an undertaking from seller or the buyer, with intimation to the assessing officer, should be taken to appear before the concerned assessing officer and make necessary compliance. Any hindrance in the movement of goods or fray amounts to an obstacle of the development of the nation.
  • The Hon’ble Court took note of the fact that due to the stoppage the buyer is prevented from using the machinery for the contract entered into by him with the State. Therefore, to enhance the ease of business it is also necessary for the rule making authority to reconsider in their best wisdom whether the requirement of fixation of the period of time in the e-way bill is at all appropriate requirement in the circumstances?

The Hon’ble High Court with the above directions disposed of the writ petition directing the petitioner to appear and submit an undertaking before the check gate officer, and the check gate officer shall release the vehicle along with goods after accepting the undertaking with the appropriate information to be provided to the assessing officer of both, the seller and the buyer.

Subscribe

to our newsletter. Please enter your email and press submit.

Menu