SC orders release of vehicle detained for not uploading part-B of e-way bill when the penalty upheld by the High Court had already been paid
ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 2524 (2018) 09 SC
The Petitioner company was a National Level Courier company. The vehicle of the petitioner company was intercepted and checked. On enquiry, the driver (person incharge of a conveyance) of the vehicle produced the bill and challan, but on enquiry, it was found that the petitioner transporter company had not uploaded/updated the part-B of the e-way bill which is a required condition to be fulfilled in accordance with the Goods and Service Tax Rules, of the State.
Since the petitioner had failed to give the details in Part-B of the e-way bill i.e., the details of conveyance in the e-way bill and the common portal in Part-B of Form GST EWB-01, proceeding was initiated and penalty was imposed since he was transporting the taxable goods without the cover of documents.
The stand of the company was that due to technical error, Part-B of the e-way bill could not be updated was not accepted by the authority because the portal of the goods or service tax provides for an option of grievance in case the petitioner was having any problem in updating the Part-B of the e-way bill. No such grievance has been raised by the petitioner and he has never given any written grievance so that the grievance with regard to the updating the technical error could not have been considered.
The company approached to the High Court by filing a Writ Petition under Article 226 praying for quashment of order passed by the GST Appellate Authority & Joint Commissioner of State Tax, and order passed by the Assistant Commissioner of State Tax wherein demand and penalty imposed had been upheld and the petitioner was directed to pay the amount
The High Court observed that the distance was more than 1200-1300 kilometers and it was mandatory for the petitioner to file the Part-B of the e-way bill giving all the details including the vehicle number before the goods are loaded in the vehicle.
Thus, the Hon’ble High Court opined that the Petitioner admittedly violated the provisions of the Rules and Act of 2017 and, Authority rightly imposed the penalty and directed the petitioner to pay the same.
The company, against the judgment of the High Court, filed a Petition for Special Leave to Appeal before the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
As an interim measure, the Hon’ble Supreme Court directed that having regard to the facts of the case, more particularly when the petitioner had already paid the tax and other dues which were being demanded, the vehicle which was seized along with the consignments should be released to the petitioner.