14.11.2022: Issuance Of Show Cause Notice To The Driver Of The Consignment Is Not Sufficient -E-Way Bill – Madras High Court

The Hon’ble High Court of Madras vide its order dated 01.11.2022 in the matter of Ramki Cements Private Limited, Represented By Its Director Vs. The State Tax Officer in W.P.(MD)No.24778 of 2022 And W.M.P(MD)Nos.18861 & 18862 of 2022, set aside the order imposing liability of tax and penalty, as the show cause notice was not served to the petitioner and copy of the same was served on the driver of the consignment.

The Petitioner filed the writ petition before the Hon’ble High Court praying to quash the Impugned order of Demand of Tax and penalty in Form GST MOV – 09 dated 21.10.2022.  Further directions were sought to direct the respondent to release the goods of the petitioner.

Facts of the Case: –

  • That the petitioner is an assessee on GST MOV-09 and he is having a Branch office at No.257, PathinParai, Thottakudi, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu 627 151. The petitioner has established this office recently. Thereafter, GST certificate was obtained for the said Unit.

It was submitted on the behalf of the petitioner that in the consignment, it was mistakenly mentioned as if it is transported to Chennai.  That on interception of the said consignment, the respondent issued the show cause notice to the Driver of the consignment and the same was not received by the petitioner.  Therefore, it has been claimed by the petitioner that it has not been granted adequate opportunity.  Further refuting the plea raised on the behalf of the respondent, it was submitted that on the same day the impugned order dated 21.10.2022 was passed and the plea of the respondent cannot be accepted.

On the other hand, it was contended on the behalf the respondents that the notice was given to the driver of the consignment and that is sufficient under the GST Act.  It was also submitted that E-Mail notice was also issued on 21.10.2022.

Held: –

  • The Hon’ble Court after considering the submissions made and facts of the case, was of the opinion that the petitioner was not granted adequate opportunity.
  • Further the petitioner did not receive the copy of the show cause notice. The show cause notice was issued to the driver is not sufficient.  Therefore, the impugned order is liable to be set aside.

The Hon’ble High Court with the above findings, allowed the writ quashed the impugned order of Demand of Tax and Penalty in Form GST MOV – 09 dated 21.10.2022.  The respondent is directed to issue a fresh notice, thereafter, the petitioner shall submit his objection. After considering the objection, the respondent shall pass speaking order, within a period of eight weeks, from the date of receipt of a copy of the order.

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