23.11.2022: Consignee Being Aggrieved Has The Right To Challenge Order Passed Against The Driver Under Section 129 – E-Way Bill – Calcutta High Court

The Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta vide its order dated 03.11.2022 in the matter of Mehndihasan Rahemtulla Hariyani Vs. Deputy Commissioner of Revenue, Bureau of Investigation, North Bengal, Alipurduar Zone & Ors. in WPA 927 of 2022, held that Consignee being aggrieved has the right to appeal under Section 107 against the order passed under Section 129 against the driver/person-in-charge of the vehicle.

The petitioner filed the writ petition before the Hon’ble High Court challenging the order dated 27th October, 2021 passed by the appellate authority.

Facts of the Case: –

  • That the Deputy Commissioner of Revenue, Alipurduar Zone under Bureau of Investigation, initiated a proceeding under Section 129 of WBGST Act, 2017 against one Ashwani Sharma, who was the alleged driver/person-in-charge of the relevant vehicle.
  • That after hearing the driver/person-in charge, the said authority passed an order imposing tax and penalty upon the driver under Section 129(3) of the WBGST Act, 2017 amounting to Rs. 1,45,320/- each.
  • That the petitioner’s proprietorship concern namely, M/s Akash Trading Co. filed an appeal under Section 107 of the West Bengal Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 against the afore-mentioned order passed by the Authority. However, the appellate authority (Joint Commissioner, Commercial Taxes, Siliguri Circle, Siliguri) did not entertain the appeal with a view that the adjudication order was passed against Ashwani Sharma, who was driver of the relevant vehicle and the petitioner’s concern being the consignee in respect of the goods had no right to challenge the said order passed by the adjudicating authority.

Held: –

  • The Hon’ble Court taking note of the submissions made and the facts of the case, was of the view that the appellate authority was not justified in not allowing the petitioner to proceed with the appeal.
  • Further Section 107 of the West Bengal Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 makes it clear that “any person aggrieved” by any decision or order passed under the Act may appeal to the appellate authority within the time limit prescribed in the Statute.
  • It was found by the Hon’ble Court that though the adjudication proceeding was initiated and passed against the driver/in-charge of the vehicle in question, the petitioner’s concern being the consignee of the goods, had a reason to be aggrieved by the said order of the adjudicating authority. Therefore, the impugned dated December 30, 2021, cannot be sustained.

The Hon’ble Court with the above findings, disposed of the writ petition by setting aside the impugned order, with the directions to the appellate authority to hear the appeal as has been filed by the petitioner’s concern in accordance with law and dispose of the same within a period of one month from the date of communication of this order.

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