E-Way Bill—Specified Errors not punishable sec.125 (By Mr. Narendra Sharma)

Narendra Sharma
M: 9415127075
9/76, Arya Nagar, Kanpur

E-Way Bill : Specified Errors not punishable u/s 125

Recently on 14th Sept. 2018 Circular No. 64/38/2018-GST was issued by the Commissioner. However, this circular is welcome in the circumstances the authorities were implementing section 129 of the Act invariably in all cases acting alike, punishing even for inadvertent human mistakes.

On a cursory glance of Section 125 of the Act, we may note that it provides for general penalty in case where no penalty is separately provided for in this Act. But Circular No. 64/38/2018-GST dated 14th Sept., 2018 in para ive of the said Circular carves out exception of Section 129 in enumerated cases.

Para 5 of this circular is as under:-

Further, in case a consignment of goods is accompanied with an invoice or any other specified document and also an e-way bill, proceedings under section 129 of the CGST Act may not be initiated, inter alia, in the following situations:

(a)   Spelling mistakes in the name of the consignor or the consignee but the GSTIN, wherever applicable, is correct;

(b)   Error in the pin-code but the address of the consignor and the consignee mentioned is correct, subject to the condition that the error in the PIN code should not have the effect of increasing the validity period of the e-way bill;

(c)   Error in the address of the consignee to the extent that the locality and other details of the consignee are correct;

(d)   Error in one or two digits of the document number mentioned in the e-way bill;

(e)   Error in 4 or 6 digit level of HSN where the first 2 digits of HSN are correct and the rate of tax mentioned is correct;

(f)    Error in one or two digits/characters of the vehicle number.

( 2 )
Section 125  vs. Section 129  :  Exempted Goods

It would have been better head an attention been given on the following provisions of sub-section (1)(a) & (b) of Section 129  regarding exempted goods :-
Sub-section (1) (a) …..…  and, in case of exempted goods, on payment of an amount equal to two per cent of the value of goods or twenty five thousand rupees, whichever is less

Sub-section (1) (b) ……… in case of exempted goods, on payment of an amount equal to five per cent of the value of goods or twenty five thousand rupees, whichever is less

The exception mentioned Section 125 of the Act vide circular dated 14th September, 2018 in sum and substance may be termed as inadvertent human errors whereas Section 129 provides for Detention, seizure and release of goods and conveyances in transit. Sub-section (1) provides that where any person transports any goods or stores any goods while they are in transit in contravention of the provisions of this Act and further provides that all such goods and conveyance used as a means of transport for carrying the said goods and documents relating to such goods and conveyance shall be liable to detention or seizure and after detention or seizure, shall be released on the conditions provided in Clauses (a), (b) and (c) of sub-section (1) of Section 129.

Now, the above quoted provisions of Section 129 regarding exempted goods raises serious questions that what is the purpose of providing to deposit tax/penalty @ 2% or 5% and upto twenty five thousand rupees in case of exempted goods. As the name itself clear the doubts, if any, that when the goods are exempted they in nowhere attract any tax and therefore, they rule out any possibility of ill-intention or intention to avoid or evade tax and hence, such a provision is punitive in nature and unnecessary also.

The Council should consider to remove the pointed out provisions as they are anomalous prima facie.