SGST High Court Cases

GST - Detention of goods conveyance – presence of valid e-waybills and invoices – Department reasoning that since Hyderabad comes first and then Adoni, the consignment of 14.30 tonnes should have been offloaded at Hyderabad, and then 2.01 tonnes consignment should proceed towards Adoni, but when the vehicle was detained, it was more than 100 kms from Hyderabad and carrying the full load of 16.31 tonnes; secondly, though the consignees are in two different States, the consignor was only one - Whether there was any violation of e-way bill Rules – HELD - the quantity consigned to the petitioner at Hyderabad was 14.30 tonnes and the quantity which was consigned to Adoni was only 2.01 tonnes. Naturally for operational convenience the transporter would load the lesser quantity last and the larger quantity first, i.e. the larger quantity would then be at the bottom of the goods vehicle and the smaller quantity would be on top of it and it would be convenient for the transporter to offload the lesser quantity first and then the larger quantity next - If the contention of the respondent is to be accepted, for delivery of 14.30 tonnes at Hyderabad to the petitioner first, the transporter would have to offload even the 2.01 tonnes which is on top of the consignment of 14.30 tonnes in the goods vehicle, and then reload it in Hyderabad, which would be a cumbersome process - This fundamental issue the respondent shockingly did not understand and simply went by the point that Hyderabad comes first and Adoni comes later ignoring the operational convenience of the transporter - respondent plea that even if the goods meant to be delivered at Adoni were loaded on top of the conveyance, the said goods should have been unloaded and then reloaded after unloading the goods intended for the petitioner at Hyderabad, is utterly perverse and cannot be accepted - there is no prohibition for a consignor to load the consignments to two different destinations intended for two different parties in two different States on a single conveyance; and also there is no rule that consignments intended for a party at a shorter distance should be offloaded first - the respondent had acted mechanically without application of mind to the operational convenience of the transporter – further, for the bonafide action of the transporter, the respondent cannot mulct the petitioner with tax and penalty - The finding of the respondent that the transaction involving the petitioner was ‘suspicious’ and that the transporter was found ‘without proper documents’ is perverse and cannot be sustained - the order of detention passed under Section 129(3) of the CGST Act is set aside - the respondents are directed to refund to the petitioner the sum collected towards GST and penalty with interest – the writ petition is allowed

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