High Court held that the allegation of mis-classification of goods cannot warrant detention of the goods during transit. If the officer feels that there have been misclassification of the goods, then a report to be prepared and sent to the Assessing Officer, who can consider the said report and objections at the time of finalising the assessment.
FULL TEXT OF THE HIGH COURT ORDER /JUDGEMENT
The petitioner has approached this Court aggrieved by Ext.P7 notice of detention served on him. In the writ petition, it is the case of the petitioner that in purported exercise of the powers under Section 129 of the Goods and Service Tax Act, (‘the GST Act’ for short), the respondents have detained a consignment of goods being transported at his instance, on the ground that there was a mis-classifications of the goods transported. It is his contention in the writ petition that the alleged mis-classification of the goods cannot be a reason for detaining the consignment under Section 129 of the GST Act.
2.I have heard the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner and also the learned Government Pleader appearing for the respondents.
3.On a consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case as also the submissions made across the Bar, I find force in the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the allegation of mis-classification of goods cannot warrant a detention of the goods under Section 129 of the GST Act. In my view, if the respondents feel that there has been a mis-classification of the goods, then it is for them to prepare a report based on the physical verification done by them, get the petitioner to sign on the same after recording his objections, if any, to the findings recorded therein, and thereafter forward a copy of the said report to the Assessing Officer of the petitioner, who can consider the said report and objections at the time of finalising the assessment in relation to the petitioner. The detention of the goods in transit cannot be justified for the said reasons.
Accordingly, I quash Ext.P7 notice and direct the respondents to forthwith release the goods and the vehicle to the petitioner, after getting the petitioner’s signature/ objections recorded on the report prepared by the respondents pursuant to the physical verification of the goods in question. The learned Government Pleader shall communicate the gist of this order to the respondents, so as to enable an expeditious clearance of the goods and the vehicle by the petitioner. The petitioner shall produce a copy of the writ petition together with a copy of this judgment, before the respondents, for further action.
A.K. JAYASANKARAN NAMBIAR