GST Dept can’t detain Vehicle for Deficiency in Lorry Receipt: Gujarat HC grants Interim Relief
A two-judge bench of the Gujarat High Court has granted interim relief to a dealer where the Goods and Services Tax (GST) department had detained the goods for deficiency in the Lorry Receipt.
The department had seized the vehicle on the ground that the lorry receipt issued by the transporter is photocopy without the computerized serial number and contact number details.
The counsel for the petitioners, Advocate Uchit Sheth, submitted before the Court that the order of detention has been made on the ground that the lorry receipt issued by the transporter is photocopy without the computerized serial number and contact number details.
Under section 68 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, the Government may require the person-in-charge of a conveyance carrying any consignment of goods of value exceeding such amount as may be specified to carry with him such documents and such devices as may be prescribed.
As per Sub-rule (1) of Rule 138A of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017, the person-in-charge of a conveyance is required to carry – (a) the invoice or bill of supply or delivery challan, as the case may be; and (b) a copy of the e-way bill in physical form or the e-way bill number in electronic form or mapped to a Radio Frequency Identification Device embedded on to the conveyance in such manner as may be notified by the Commissioner.
The petitioners, therefore, submitted that in case either of these documents is not carried by the person-in-charge of the conveyance, the respondents would be justified in resorting to action under section 129 of the CGST Act.
It was contended that since carrying the Lorry Receipt is not a requirement prescribed under rule 138A(1) of the rules and there is no statutory provision empowering the respondents to make an order of detention under section 129(1) of the CGST Act for any deficiency in the lorry receipt issued by the transporter, the impugned order of detention is without authority of law.
The two-judge bench comprising Justice Harsha Devani and Justice Bhargav D Karia held that “Prima facie, the contention raised by the learned advocate for the petitioner appears to be valid. Under the circumstances, a prima facie case has been made out for grant of interim relief as prayed for in the petition.”
“Stand over to 18th April 2019. By way of further interim relief, the respondents are directed to forthwith release the truck No.GJ-04-AW 1999 along with the goods contained therein,” the bench said.
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