Interest issue: Validity of detention if two e-way bills for transportation wherein on e-way bill expired

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Interest issue: Validity of detention if two e-way bills for transportation wherein on e-way bill expired

The issue before Tripura High Court in the case of ATC Supply Chain Solution Pvt. Ltd. Vs. The State of Tripura & Ors  [WP(C) No.433/2021, Dated 30/06/2021] was, out of the two e-way bills generated by the petitioner, the validity of one of them had expired. The detailed issue as well judgement is as under:

Copy of the order is as under:

Petitioner is a transporter. The goods being transported by the petitioner along with the vehicle have been detained by the State GST authorities at Churaibari border on the ground that out of the two e-way bills generated by the petitioner validity of one of them had expired. Learned counsel for the petitioner pointed out that one of the bills had validity up to 22nd June, 2001. On account of the vehicle in which the goods were being transported breaking down in Assam there was some delay in crossing the State border. The vehicle and the goods arrived at the northern  State  border  of  the  State  of  Tripura  on  23rd  June,  2021.  The petitioner had generated a fresh e-way bill which has the validity of up to 9th July, 2021. However, in the meantime, the GST authorities have detained the goods and the vehicle at the check post. Counsel for the petitioner submitted that there was no intention on part of the petitioner to evade payment of duty. In fact, the consignee has paid the full tax of Rs.1,78,283/- on the value of the goods. He further submitted that the goods are in the nature of Amul Butter. Detention of such goods at the border check post under unprotected conditions would damage the goods as the product is perishable. He, therefore, submitted that the vehicle and the goods may be released on some reasonable conditions.

We have also heard learned senior counsel Mr. P K Dhar appearing for the State authorities on advance copy.

Considering the submissions made by the counsel for the petitioner we are of the opinion that further continued detention of the vehicle and the goods would serve no purpose. Let the vehicle with the goods be released on certain terms and conditions. While permitting the GST authorities to carry on assessment if the competent authority is of the opinion that there has been any infraction of any rules, regulations or statutory requirement. However, pending such adjudication the goods and the vehicle may be released.

Under  the   circumstances,  the   petition  is   disposed  of   with following directions :

(1) The petitioner shall either deposit or give Bank guarantee to the tune of 25% of possible duty with penalty. For such purpose, respondent No.3 shall convey to the petitioner within 2(two) days from today the possible amount of duty with penalty that may ultimately be imposed even if the petitioner’s explanations are not accepted.

(2) The petitioner shall furnish bond for the remaining amount of probable duty with penalty

(3) As soon as the petitioner fulfils these two conditions, the vehicle and the goods shall be released.

(4) It would be open for the competent authority to carry on adjudication, on the question of unpaid duty with interest and penalty if any.

(5) The petitioner shall cooperate with such proceedings if the competent authority issues a show cause notice in this respect.

Petition is disposed of. Direct service of the copy of order on the respondent No.3 is permitted. Pending application(s), if any, also stands disposed of.

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