Devices Distributors v. The Assistant State Tax Officer, Kottarakkara / Commissioner of State Gst, Thiruvananthapuram / Assistant Commissioner of State Tax, Kozhikode
[Citation -2020-LL-0723-27]

Citation 2020-LL-0723-27
Appellant Name Devices Distributors
Respondent Name The Assistant State Tax Officer, Kottarakkara / Commissioner of State Gst, Thiruvananthapuram / Assistant Commissioner of State Tax, Kozhikode
Relevant Act SGST
Date of Order 23/07/2020
Judgment View Judgment

IN HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM PRESENT HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE A.K.JAYASANKARAN NAMBIAR THURSDAY, 23RD DAY OF JULY 2020/1ST SRAVANA, 1942 W.P(C).No.14969 OF 2020 PETITIONER: DEVICES DISTRIBUTORS DOOR NO.18/1145B, K T COMPLEX, JAIL ROAD, PUTHIYARA, CALICUT 673004 PARTNERSHIP FIRM, REPRESENTED BY ITS PARTNER - MR.AJISH P.F. BY ADVS.SRI.JOSEPH MARKOSE (SR.) SRI.V.ABRAHAM MARKOS SRI.MATHEWS K.UTHUPPACHAN SRI.ABRAHAM JOSEPH MARKOS SRI.ISAAC THOMAS SRI.P.G.CHANDAPILLAI ABRAHAM SHRI.ALEXANDER JOSEPH MARKOS SHRI.SHARAD JOSEPH KODANTHARA RESPONDENTS: 1 ASSISTANT STATE TAX OFFICER SQUAD NO.II, KERALA GST DEPARTMENT, KOLLAM AT KOTTARAKKARA, PIN 691 506. 2 COMMISSIONER OF STATE GST KERALA STATE GST DEPARTMENT THIRUVANANTHAPURAM PIN 695 001. 3 ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF STATE TAX SPECIAL CIRCLE, JAWAHAR NAGAR COLONY, KOZHIKODE PIN 673006. BY SMT.THUSHARA JAMES, GOVT. PLEADER THIS WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) HAVING COME UP FOR ADMISSION ON 23.07.2020, COURT ON SAME DAY DELIVERED FOLLOWING: W.P.(C).NO.14969/2020 :: 2 :: JUDGMENT petitioner, who is distributor of home appliances of various brands, has approached this Court aggrieved by Ext.P4 detention notice under GST Act that was served on him while goods were being transported from Kottayam to Thiruvananthapuram at his instance. perusal of Ext.P4 detention notice indicates that objection of respondent is essentially with regard to invoices that accompanied transportation of goods. It was found that tax invoices furnished, although carried serial numbers, they were not consecutive for three invoices. In particular, it was noticed that while one invoice carried serial number as 46000152. other two invoices carried serial numbers 53000029 and 53000030. detaining authority, therefore, suspected that invoices carrying serial numbers in between two sets of invoices indicated above might have been used for transportation of other goods that were not brought to notice of Department. Reference is also made in detention notice to 'Revised Invoice Rules, 2017, which, according to learned Senior Counsel for petitioner, has no relevance to facts in instant case. W.P.(C).NO.14969/2020 :: 3 :: 2. I have heard learned counsel for petitioner and Government Pleader for respondents. 3. Learned Government Pleader would refer to Rule 46(1)(b) of GST Rules that specifies requirement of tax invoice containing consecutive serial number not exceeding 16 characters in one or multiple series, containing alphabets or numerals or specific characters respectively, and any combination thereof, to point out that in instant case, tax invoices did not contain combination of alphabets, numerals, and specific characters. It is contended, therefore, that insofar as tax invoices that accompanied goods did not conform to requirement of R.46, detention could not be seen as unjustified. 4. On consideration of rival submissions, I find that power to detain vehicle in course of transit is specified in Section 129 of GST Act, and applies inter alia to cases where any person transports goods in contravention of provisions of Act or Rules. As per Act and Rules, person transporting goods is obliged to carry documents that are mentioned in Section 68 of GST Act, read with Rule 138 of GST W.P.(C).NO.14969/2020 :: 4 :: Rules. Accordingly such person is required to carry copy of tax invoice, together with copy of e-way bill, while transporting goods either interstate or intrastate. form of invoice is specified in Section 31 of CGST Act read with Rule 46 of GST Rules. In instant case, it is not in dispute that e-way bills did accompany goods. It is also not in dispute that transportation was covered by tax invoices. objection of respondents is only that invoices did not bear continuous numbers and hence they suspect that invoices bearing serial numbers that fell between numbers on invoices produced at time of transportation, could have been used for transportation of other goods that had not been brought to notice of Department. 5. In my view, entertainment of such doubt by authority cannot be justification for detaining goods in question, especially when they were admittedly accompanied by tax invoices as also e-way bills that clearly indicated particulars that were required by Rule 46 of GST Rules. It is also relevant to note that doubt entertained by respondents were, at any rate, in respect of goods that may have been transported under cover of invoices that numerically fell between numbers shown in invoices that were carried along with goods, and in that sense, pertained to goods other than those that were actually W.P.(C).NO.14969/2020 :: 5 :: detained. detention in instant case cannot be justified under Section 129 of GST Act. I therefore allow this writ petition and direct respondents to forthwith release goods detained by Ext.P4 notice, on petitioner producing copy of this judgment before them. Government Pleader shall communicate gist of directions in this judgment to respondents for enabling expeditious release of vehicle and goods. Sd/- A.K.JAYASANKARAN NAMBIAR JUDGE Sd W.P.(C).NO.14969/2020 :: 6 :: APPENDIX PETITIONER'S EXHIBITS: EXT.P1: TRUE COPY OF LIST SHOWING SERIES NUMBERS OF INVOICES FOR PRESENT YEAR. EXT.P2: TRUE COPY OF PRINTOUT OF ADVISORY OF CBIC WITH RESPECT TO TAX INVOICES AND OTHER INSTRUMENT AS OBTAINED FROM CBIC WEBSITE. EXT.P3(A): TRUE COPY OF TAX INVOICE NO.46000152 DATED 15.7.2020 AND CORRESPONDING E-WAY BILL DATED 16.07.2020. EXT.P3(B): TRUE COPY OF TAX INVOICE NO.53000029 DATED 15.7.2020 AND CORRESPONDING E-WAY BILL DATED 16.07.2020. EXT.P3(C): TRUE COPY OF TAX INVOICE NO.53000030 DATED 15.7.2020 AND CORRESPONDING E-WAY BILL DATED 16.07.2020. EXT.P4: TRUE COPY OF SCN-29/IO-II/20-21 DATED 16.07.2020 ISSUED BY 1ST RESPONDENT. EXT.P5: TRUE COPY OF OBJECTION DATED 16.07.2020 FILED BY PETITIONER. RESPONDENTS EXHIBITS: NIL. //TRUE COPY// P.S. TO JUDGE Devices Distributors v. Assistant State Tax Officer, Kottarakkara / Commissioner of State Gst, Thiruvananthapuram / Assistant Commissioner of State Tax, Kozhikode
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