2022-VIL-547-KER

SGST High Court Cases

GST – Interpretation of Section 129 of the CGST Act - Once the assessee opts to make payment in terms of Clause (a) of Sub-Section (1) of Section 129 of the CGST Act to get goods and conveyance detained or seized in proceedings under Section 129 released whether the assessee is deprived of his right to file an appeal against the proceedings – Revenue contends that in terms of sub-section (5) of Section 129 of the CGST/SGST Acts, on payment of amounts under sub-section (1), all proceedings which are the subject matter of a notice under Section 129(3) shall be deemed to be concluded – HELD – whether or not a person opts to make payment under section 129(1)(a) or to provide security under Section 129(1)(c), the responsibility of the officer to pass an order under sub-section (3) of Section 129 and to upload a summary of the order/demand in Form MOV-7 continues - The provisions of sub-section (5) or Section 129 only contemplate that the procedure for detention on seizure of goods or documents or conveyances come to an end and it is always open to the person who suffers proceedings under 129 of the CGST/SGST Acts to challenge those proceedings if he feels that the demand has been illegally raised on him. This can be the only reasonable interpretation that can be placed on the provisions, any other interpretation would clearly violate Article 265 of the Constitution of India - Further, Section 107 of the CGST Act is widely worded and provides that any person aggrieved by any decision, or order passed under the Act, by an adjudicating authority, may appeal to such appellate authority - the person who is the subject matter of proceedings under section 129 of the CGST Act has the right to challenge those proceedings, culminating in an order under sub-section (3) of Section 129, before the duly constituted Appellate Authority under Section 107 of that Act - The fact that the culmination of proceedings in respect of a person who seeks to make payment of Tax and Penalty under Section 129(1)(a) does not result in the generation of a summary of an order under Form DRC-07 cannot result in the right of the person to file an appeal under Section 107 being deprived - The fact that the system does not generate a demand or that the system does not contemplate the filing of an appeal without a demand does not mean that the intention of the legislature was different - Commissioner, Office of the SGST Department will issue an appropriate circular taking note of the aforesaid findings - writ petitions will stand allowed

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