Refusal to accept e-way bills generated much before seizure-It appears that petitioner misled us says Allahabad HC which had summoned GST Commissioner UP calling it a serious situation
In the instant writ petition, the appellant assessee had challenged the seizure of goods and the vehicle by the mobile squad despite producing e-way bill
ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 2337 (2018) (05) HC
The petitioner entered into a transaction of sale of certain goods. Both the petitioner and the purchaser were registered dealers. The invoice accompanying the goods showed that CGST and SGST have been charged @ 9% each.
The transport vehicle was intercepted by the mobile squad of UP GST on the ground that the goods were not accompanied with e-way bill. Interception memo was issued indicating that a physical verification shall be carried out on next day.
As per the Petitioner, the e-way bill was generated on the same day and was produced before the Assistant Commissioner, mobile squad on the same day along with a letter but the same was refused to be accepted and acknowledged and instead the petitioner was forced to submit an undated reply to an alleged notice under Section 129(3) of the Act, which at the said point of time was not even issued.
It was submitted that under threat and coercion, the petitioner filed an undated reply accepting that the goods were not accompanied with e-way bill. It was also submitted that on the same day a verification report though post dated was prepared and thereafter, seizure order was passed seizing the goods and vehicle without taking into account the reply submitted by the petitioner and the e-way bill.
The Hon’ble High Court observed that as per the e-way bill was generated on the dau of interception itself. The e-way bill had been downloaded by the petitioner much before the detention and seizure of the goods and the vehicle and thus, there was no reason to believe that once the e-way bill was generated and the same was not produced by the petitioner before the Mobile Squad as it does not appeal to common sense.
The Hon’ble High Court found substance in the allegation made by the petitioner that the Assistant Commissione failed to take notice of the e-way bill produced before him and compelled the petitioner to submit an undated reply accepting the fact that the goods were not accompanied with e-way bill.
Their Lordships stated that they a large number of similar cases are filed everyday where the e-way bills are generated much before the seizure but ignoring the same, the relevant authority refuses to acknowledge the same and pass the seizure and penalty orders illegally detaining the vehicle and the goods. The Hon’ble High Court regarded it as a serious situation needing rectification.
The Hon’ble High Court directed Assistant Commissioner, UP GST, Mobile Squad to appear in person to explain his conduct.
GST Commissioner of U.P. , Lucknow was also directed to appear in person on the same day to suggest the ways and means to remedy the situation.
In compliance of the above order, on the appointed day, TheCommissioner of State Tax, U.P. Goods & Service Tax, Lucknow and Assistant Commissioner, State Tax, Mobile Squad, Unit-III, Noida were present in person.
However the the Additional Advocate General pointed out that there was a discrepancy in the name of the petitioner and the firm as described in the affidavit and the Vakalatnama whereas the representation/application made before the Assistant Commissioner had been signed by some other person. The discrepancy was also found in the undated application filed in pursuance of the show cause notice under Section 129 (3) of the U.P. Goods & Service Tax Act, 2017 (‘UPGST Act, 2017’). It was contended that the pleadings of the petitioners totally falsified the averments in the said paragraphs.
The High Court opined that the Court was misled by the petitioner and at the time of first hearing when the fact did not come to light. The Court also went through the previous record of the assessee for the period 1999 till 26.03.2018 showing that penalty had been levied for evasion of the tax against the petitioner firm at least 25 times which showed that he was a habitual evader of tax.
The case was ordered to be listed on 29.05.2018. The High Court exempted the personal appearance of both the officials on future date.
The Court recorded that in case, allegations and anomalies as pointed out by Additional Advocate General are found to be established , the question of imposing heavy exemplary costs and proceedings for initiation of contempt upon the petitioner shall be considered on the next date of hearing
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