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Penalty cannot be levied on non-filling of Part-B of e-way bill without establishing the petitioner's intent to evade the taxes: High Court

Highlights
  • The only allegation against the petitioner leading to seizure of the goods was that Part-B of the e-way bill was not filled up.
  • There is no allegation that the goods being transported were being transported without payment of tax. 
  • Petitioner submits that Part-B of e-way bill could not filled due to technical error on Portal.
  • Prima-facie no intent to evade the duty could be established in the case. Tax and Penalty order set aside by High Court. 

Facts:

The respondent inspected the vehicle transporting the goods of the petitioner at U.P. The said goods were being transported from Gurgaon Haryana to U.P. and at the time of inspection, the department found that the e-way bill was incomplete, as Part-B of the e-way bill was not available.

The vehicle was detained and mobile squad seized the goods and issued a show cause notice to the petitioner.

The petitioner gave a reply to the said show cause notice explaining that the vehicle number through which the goods were being transported was DL01M6498, however, on account of some technical error, the vehicle number could not be registered, as such, the vehicle number was not reflected in Part-B of the e-way bill which led to the seizure of the goods.

He argues that this issue was addressed by the department itself while issuing the Clarificatory Circular, where the technical glitch arising out of the number plates bearing Delhi Number was recorded and it was advised that while filling the form, it should be filled in a particular manner as the form which accepts the e-way bill does not have any provision for zero to be mentioned. 

In the light of the said, the counsel for the petitioner argues that the error in not filling the form in part B of the e-way bill was on account of the technical glitch which itself was realized by the department who had issued the Circular dated 18.03.2018. In the light of the said, he argues that there was no ill motive or intent for avoiding the payment of duty. He further argues that in any case there is no finding recorded against the petitioner of there being any intent to avoid the payment of duty.

It is argued that in terms of the order passed by the assessing authority, the petitioner was called upon to pay the tax and penalty of the like amount which the petitioner paid and has got the goods released in his favour.

Held by Court:

In view of the contentions of the parties and the material placed on record, it is clear that the only allegation levelled against the petitioner leading to seizure of the goods was that Part-B of the e-way bill was not filled up. There is no allegation that the goods being transported were being transported without payment of tax. The explanation offered by the petitioner for not filling the Part-B of e-way bill, is clearly supported by the Circulars issued by the Ministry of Finance wherein the problem arising in filling the part-B of e-way bill was noticed and advisories were issued.

In the present case, prima-facie no intent to evade the duty can be ascertained. The impugned orders are set aside.

The writ petition is allowed with direction to the respondents to refund the amount collected and paid by the petitioner in pursuance to the impugned order within a period of two months from today.

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Author:

TaxReply


Sep 20, 2022

Comments


Nice
By: Anurag | Dt: Sep 20, 2022
need the judgment
By: Anusha M R | Dt: Sep 23, 2022


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