Section 129 of CGST Act, 2017—Goods in Transit with vehicle—incomplete e-way bill—In the instant case, the question is that “What are the documents to be carried along with the goods?”.
And “Can the Court exercise its discretion to dilute the statutory rigour”?
Held that—Under Rule 2 (1) of the Rules, the person in charge of a conveyance must carry-(a) the invoice or bill of supply or delivery challan; and (b) a copy of the e-way bill or the e-way bill number, either physically or mapped to an RFID, Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically-stored information embedded on to the conveyance - Here, Garuda did not fill Part B of the e-way bill. It cited technical difficulties as the reason. On interception and after detention, it fulfilled that requirement. It has also pleaded that it approached the officials about the difficulties it faced, but was only advised that it must try again. Tried again, it succeeded; but by then, the authorities detained the goods. At least, thus goes the allegation. Garuda contends that its failure, if any, is trivial, technical.
Held that—Judicial Power is never exercised for the purpose of giving effect to the will of the judge; always for the purpose of giving effect to the will of the legislature; or, in other words, to the will of the law - The language and the legislative intent clear, courts, in the name of discretion, cannot do violence to the statutory mandate. Discretion smooths the edges, but does not cut corners - there is no interpretative ambiguity or legislative crevasses to be filled in.
Garuda can have the provisional release of the goods, pending further adjudication under Section 129(1) of the Act, only if it complies with the statutory mandate. If it provides a bank guarantee for the tax and the penalty, besides executing a bond for the value of goods, as directed under Rule 140 of the KSGST Rules, the authorities will provisionally release the goods.
Once the petitioner provides the bank guarantee for the tax and penalty and bond for the value of goods, under Rule 140 of the Rules, it will have the goods provisionally released - petition disposed off.[GARUDA TIMBER TRADERS VERSUS THE ASSISTANT STATE TAX OFFICER (INTELLIGENCE) , SQUAD NO. 1, STATE GSD DEPARTMENT, MALAPPURAM, THE COMMISSIONER, STATE GSD DEPARTMENT, TAX TOWER, KARAMANA, THIRUVANANTHPAURAM, THE SECRETARY CENTRAL BOARD OF EXCISE AND CUSTOMS, NEW DELHI, UNION OF INDIA REPRESENTED BY ITS SECRETARY, NEW DELHI AND THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DEPARTMENT OF STATE GST, PALAKKAD] [KERALA HIGH COURT] 3 TAXLOK.COM 19 (Ker)