2019-VIL-178-DEL-CU

SGST High Court Cases

GST – Bonafide typographical error in the e-Way Bill – Petition challenging impugned order passed under section 129(3) of the CGST Act, imposing tax and penalty for discrepancy in the date on the invoice and e-way bill – as per the petitioner the error occurred due to the default computer formatting system i.e. instead of day-month-year (dd-mm-yyyy) formatting for the Indian system, the computer-generated bill provided for a month-day-year (mm-dd-yyyy) format and as a result, instead of 02-03-2021, the invoice bill mentioned the date as 03-02-2021 – HELD – the purpose of CBIC Circular No.64/38/2018 dated 14-09-2018 was to mitigate the hardships being caused to taxpayers for minor discrepancies, which had no bearing on the liability to tax or on the nature of goods being transported. The circular is statutory in nature and is binding on the Authorities - minor discrepancies cannot be penalized contrary to the mode and procedure contemplated under the Circular – though the present situation is not covered by the six instances mentioned in the CBIC Circular No.64/38/2018, however, the analysis of the six instances reveals those discrepancies which have no bearing on tax liability and are caused on account of bonafide mistakes like typographical errors, or otherwise are regarded as minor discrepancies - the situation in the present case can be even brought under the broader umbrage of clause (d) of para 5 of the Circular - the discrepancy pointed out in e-way bill is only on the date of invoice which is shown as 03.02.2021 while that shown in the e-way bill was 02.03.2021 – the error is insignificant and not of any consequence for invoking the power conferred under section 129 of the Act to impose tax and penalty - The situation arising in the instant case warranted imposition of only a minor penalty as contemplated under the Circular - the imposition of tax and penalty upon the petitioner to the extent imposed is perverse and illegal – the impugned order is set aside and writ petition is allowed by remand

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