17.09.2022: Proceedings Under Section 129 Not To Be Invoked In Case Of Bonafide and Clerical Mistakes – E-Way Bill – Madhya Pradesh High Court

The Hon’ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh vide its order dated 02.09.2022 in the matter of Maharaja Cables (C/O Maxwell Logistics Pvt. Ltd.) Vs. Commissioner (GST) State Tax Indore (M.P.) & Others in Writ Petition No. – 6110 of 2020, set aside and quashed the orders initiating proceedings under Section 129 for a bonafide and Clerical mistake while entering the address on the E-Way Bill.

The Petitioner filed the Writ Petition before the High Court challenging the orders dated 05.09.2019 and 27.05.2019 passed by the Respondent Authorities.

Facts of the Case: –

  • The Petitioner is a private company engaged in the business of copper cables and entered in to an agreement with M/s Bajaj Electricals Ltd. for supply of Certain Goods.
  • That as per the terms of the agreement the goods had to be delivered to the factory at Bhopal, in pursuance of the said agreement, a consignment was sent through Maxwell Logistics by vehicle bearing registration No. DL-01-GC 3550.
  • That a tax invoice was generated, rightly mentioning the destination as well as the registration number of the vehicle, however, when the E-Way bill was generated, which is required to be carried with the consignment, the registered office address of the consignee at Indore was mentioned instead of Bhopal.
  • That for the said reasons, revenue authorities initiated proceedings under Section 129 of the CGST Act, 2017, and an order was passed imposing additional liability of tax and penalty against the petitioner.
  • Later, the appeal being preferred against the said order, was also dismissed. Thus, the present petition has been moved by the petitioner assailing aforesaid orders.

Petitioner’s Submissions: –

  • It was submitted on the behalf of the petitioner that mistake while generating E-Way Bill was an inadvertent human error and there was no intention to evade the tax liability.
  • It was submitted that the vehicle number of the vehicle transporting the goods is same and hence, prayed for quashing the orders.

 Held: –

  • The Hon’ble Court after considering the submissions made and facts of the case, found that issue involved in the present matter is already settled by the decision in Robbins Tunnelling and Trenchless Technology (India) Pvt. Ltd. vs. The State of M.P. and others – P. No.- 12913/2020 dated 04.02.2021 passed by the Coordinate Bench as well as by this bench order dated 16.03.2022 passed in W.P.No.344/2022.
  • The Hon’ble Court in view of the above, and finding that the mistake in question being bonafide, quashed the impugned orders dated 05.09.2019 & 27.05.2019, passed by the respondent authorities.

The Hon’ble Court with the above findings allowed the Writ Petition with the liberty to the respondents to consider the case of the petitioner for imposition of minor penalty, treating the mistake to be clerical, 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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