There was no material before the 2nd respondent to come to the conclusion that there was evasion of tax by the petitioner merely on account of lapsing of time mentioned in the e-way bill. On account of non-extension of the validity of the e-way bill by petitioner or the auto trolley driver, no presumption can be drawn that there was an intention to evade tax.
Section 129 of the CGST Act, 2017— Goods in Transit – The petitioner challenged the detention order dated 22.01.2020. The Petitioner submitted that an e-way bill dt.04.01.2020 was generated. On its way, on account of a political rally, traffic was blocked and the vehicle could not move till 08:30 p.m. and by that time, the shop of the buyer could be closed, and so the auto trolley driver took the trolley to his residence with the goods so as to deliver them on the next working day. 04.01.2020 was a Saturday, and 5.1.2020 was a Sunday, and the next working day was 06.01.2020. When the auto trolley was on its way on 06.01.2020 its consignment was detained alleging that the validity of the e-way bill had expired proposing to impose tax and penalty. The Petitioner submitted that the respondent passed an order on 22.01.2020 in Form GST MOV-09 ignoring the representations submitted on 07.01.2020 and 08.01.2020. After payment of tax and penalty, on 22.01.2020, release order was issued by the Senior Assistant attached to the Office of the respondent, who is not authorized to pass such an order. The respondent counsel submitted that petitioner is evading tax merely because the e-way bill has expired. The court observed that there was no material before the respondent to come to the conclusion that there was evasion of tax by the petitioner merely on account of lapsing of time mentioned in the e-way bill. There has been a blatant abuse of power by the respondent in collecting tax and penalty and compelling the petitioner to pay the same.
Held that:- The Hon’ble High Court set aside the impugned order dt.22.01.2020 passed by the Senior Assistant of the respondent. The respondents were directed to refund the said amount within four weeks with interest@ 6% p.a from 20.1.2020 when the amount was collected from petitioner till date of repayment. Directed the respondent to pay costs of Rs.10,000 to the petitioner in 4 weeks.