04.05.2022- No Proceedings Under Section 129 If The Mistake Is Bonafide – E-way Bill – Madhya Pradesh High Court

The Hon’ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh vide its order dated 30th March 2022 in the matter of Technosteel Infra Projects Pvt. Ltd.  Vs.  The State of Madhya Pradesh through Principal Secretary, Department of Commercial Tax, Bhopal, Joint Commissioner State Tax, (Appellate Authority), Satna, State Tax Officer, Anti Evasion Bureau, Satna and Sagar Division in Writ Petition NO.6118 OF 2021, held that the proceedings under Section 129 of the Act, should not be initiated against the assessee for bonafide /clerical mistakes in E-Way Bill.

The petitioner preferred the writ petition before the Hon’ble High Court challenging the order dated 21.08.2018 and order dated 30.10.2019 passed by the Joint Commissioner, State Tax (Appellate Authority) Satna Division, Satna.

Facts:

  • The Petitioner is a private company engaged in the business of steel and HT wires and entered into an agreement with M/s Reva Engineering Pvt. Ltd. for supply of certain goods to factory at Rewa.
  • That in view of the terms of the agreement the consignment of goods was transported through M/s Aryan Transport Company, Nagpur by vehicle bearing registration No.MH-40-BG-6847.
  • That a tax invoice was generated reflecting the destination and registration number of the vehicle, however while generating the E-Way Bill the address, instead of Rewa was mentioned as the registered office of the consignee, at Jabalpur.
  • That for the aforesaid reason, the Revenue authorities-initiated proceedings under Section 129 and passed an order levying additional Tax as well as penalty.
  • That being aggrieved, an appeal against the aforesaid order was filed, which was also dismissed by the Appellate Authority.

Petitioner’s Submissions:

  • It was human error and inadvertent mistake while generating the E-Way Bill.
  • There was no intention to evade the tax liability as the vehicle number transporting the goods is same as shown in the E-Way Bill.

Held:

  • The Hon’ble High Court after considering the submissions made, noted that the issue involved in the present matter has already decided vide order dated 04.02.2021 in W.P.No.12913/2020 (Robbins Tunnelling and Trenchless Technology (India) Pvt. Ltd. vs. The State of M.P. and others) by the Co-ordinate Bench as well as this (same) bench vide order dated 16.03.2022 passed in W.P.No.344/2022.
  • That in view of the above and considering the mistake in the present case being bonafide, the Hon’ble High Court quashed the impugned orders dated 21.08.2018 and dated 30.10.2019.

 The Hon’ble High Court with the above findings allowed the writ petition with a liberty to the respondents to consider the case for minor penalty, treating it to be a clerical mistake in view of circular dated 14.09.2018 bearing No. CBEC/20/16/03/2017-GST, issued by Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

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