SGST High Court Cases

GST – Section 129 of the CGST Act, 2017 - Expiry of E-way Bill – Penalty for transportation of goods without valid e-way bill - petitioner case that there was no intention to evade tax as he had paid the tax in the first place, and as such, ought not to be saddled with penalty for expired e-way bill – Whether not having any intention to evade tax be a valid ground to transport goods without a valid e-way bill - HELD - Law prescribes generation of e-way bill for transportation of goods - If, for exceptional circumstances, the goods cannot be transported within the period mentioned in the e-way bill, then there is provision for extending the validity period after updating the details in the portal. There is no provision to transport goods with an e-way bill which stood expired on the date of transportation - interception and detention of goods without valid documents are permissible in law. The authority intercepting the vehicle in the course of movement is not supposed to appreciate the reasons as to why the vehicle was moving without a valid e-way bill - If the contention of the petitioner is to be accepted, then the authority will be flooded with a plethora of reasons from the errant transporters for not being able to deliver the goods within time. In such a situation, the authority may exercise discretion either to accept or reject the ground put forth for explaining the delay in transportation. The same will give rise to an anomalous situation when the authority may adopt pick and choose method as per their choice and tend to exercise discretion arbitrarily. Law does not provide such unbridled power and right to the authority. In case of statutory violations, the statutory consequential steps are required to be undertaken - Transportation of goods with a proper e-way bill is one of the salient features of the Act. There is no scope to dilute the said provision of law for granting relief to an errant transporter. The Act cannot and ought not to be interpreted in such a manner that the very essence of the same is lost. Section 129 of the Act opens with a non obstante clause which lends a mandatory character to the same - The petitioner may or may not be directly responsible for the delay in issuance of the gate pass, but he is certainly at fault in transporting goods without a valid e-way bill – impugned order is a perfectly reasoned one and does not call for any interference – the writ petition is dismissed

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