The delivery of the products was timely, but they were unloaded beyond the E-Way Bill’s expiration date
Fact and issue of the case
The captioned writ appeal is filed by the State assailing the correctness of the order dated 20.11.2020 passed by the learned Single Judge in W.P.3337/2020.
The 1st respondent filed a writ petition questioning the order passed by appellant No.2-The Commissioner of Commercial Taxes in Karnataka and also the order passed by the appellant No.4-Joint Commissioner of Goods and Service Tax(Appeals)-5.
The 1st respondent’s grievance before the learned Single Judge was that the motor vehicles purchased were dispatched from Hosur, Tamil Nadu, and the same were supposed to be delivered at Dodda ballapur Road, Yelahanka, after generating E-way bill which was valid from 31.12.2018 to 1.1.2019. The 1st respondent claimed that the conveyance carrying the vehicles reached the place of destination on 1.1.2019 before expiry of the validity of the E-way Bills. However, the 1st respondent has contended that the unloading of the vehicles could not take place on the same day and while the vehicles were being unloaded on 2.1.2019, the 3rd appellant visited the spot and issued an order for physical verification culminating in issuance of notice under sub-clause (3) of Section 129 of the Act as per annexure-B. The 1st respondent preferred an appeal before appellant No.4 and the same was dismissed by order dated 28.11.2019. Therefore, 1st respondent preferred a writ petition in W.P.No.3337/2020.
The learned Single Judge having adverted to the facts has come to the conclusion that the conveyance had reached the place of destination well within the expiry of the E-way bills and therefore, the learned Single Judge was of the view that the appellate authority should have considered the merits of the proceedings in the light of the provisions of Rule 138(10) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 which prescribes the validity of E-way bills with the extension of further period by eight hours after the expiry. On these set of reasonings, the learned Judge has proceeded to allow the writ petition and consequently quashed the impugned order dated 28.11.2019 passed in GST.AP.No.12/18-19 by appellant No.4.
Observation of the court
Though the learned AGA appearing for the appellant has vehemently argued and contended that unloading was not done until 5.00 p.m. on the next day and therefore, the goods cannot be transported without seeking extension of validity period of E-way bill. The learned AGA would further contend that E-way bill for all practical purposes had expired on the midnight of 1.1.2019 and therefore, it was incumbent upon 1st respondent to seek extension of validity of said E-way Bill as provided under the proviso to Rule 138(10) of CGST Rules. Therefore he would submit that the E-way bill dated 31.12.2018 cannot be said to be a valid bill.
On meticulous examination of the order under challenge we would find that there is a categorical finding by the learned Judge that the conveyance had reached the destination on 1.1.2019 at 11.00 p.m. which was well within the prescribed validity period under the E-way bill. The appellant-authorities contention that the consignment was being delivered on 2.1.2019 and therefore, the goods cannot be transported cannot be acceded to. The materials on record clearly indicates that the action by the authorities was taken at the destination and not during transit and therefore, an inference has to drawn that the conveyance had reached the destination well within the subsistence of the valid period stipulated under the E-way bill. Therefore, having regard to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case on hand, we are not inclined to interfere with the order of the learned Single Judge.
For the reasons stated supra, the writ appeal is dismissed.
The tribunal has ruled in favour of the assessee and dismiss the appeal.
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