Mr. Majumder, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner has submitted that for the countrywide lockdown when the vehicle, name of which has been printed in the EWay bill, got stuck in Raipur and it suffered a mechanical failure. Consequent thereupon, trans-shipment was done. However, the amendment in the e-way bill could not be immediately done for the lockdown. The said vehicle reached to the Churaibari check post, when the Superintendent of State Tax (GST) Churaibari Enforcement Wing detained the said vehicle finding that proper E-way bill was not being carried by the said vehicle. In the meanwhile, the petitioner, according to Mr. Majumder, leaned counsel, got the E-way bill amended by the competent authority and the same was produced to the said superintendent but he denied to take cognizance of the amended e-way bill and refused to release the goods that was being carried by the said vehicle. Having no other alternative, the petitioner had approached the Commissioner of Taxes, Govt of Tripura. But by the communication dated 30.05.2020, the Commissioner of Taxes has observed as follows:
“As per section 129(1)© seized goods shall be released upon furnishing a security equivalent to the amount of applicable tax and penalty equal to one hunder percent of the tax payable and the provisions of sub section (6) of the section 67 shall mutatis mutandis apply for detention and seizure of goods and conveyance.”
The Commissioner of taxes has further observed in the said communication dated 30.05.2020 (Annexure-9 to the writ petition) that as provided in Rule 140(1) of the TSGST Rules, 2017 the seized goods may be released on a provisional basis upon execution of a bond for the value of the goods in FORM GST INS-04 and furnishing of a security in the form of a bank gurantee equivalent to the amount of applicable tax, interest, and penalty payable. There is no provision to release seized goods on the basis of indemnity bond only.
Mr. Majumder, learned counsel has submitted that the goods and the vehicle shall be released forthwith else it would create serious detriment to the petitioner.
Mr. A. K. Bhowmik, learned Advocate General assisted by Mr.K. Dey, learned Addl. GA has submitted that prima-facie, it is apparent that the petitioner has violated the respective rules by not producing a valid e-way bill to the Superintendent of State Tax (GST) Churaibari Enforcement Wing and the Superintendent of State Tax did no wrong by detaining the vehicle or imposing the tax and penalty in accordance with rule.
Be that as it may, since we have already issued the notice for examining the challenge as raised by the petitioner, it would be appropriate for fair ends of justice that the respondents shall release the goods and the vehicle, if the petitioner furnished the indemnity bond undertaking clearly that in the event of any adverse order from this court or on issuance of direction to make tax and penalty as imposed by the Superintendent of State Tax (GST), Churaibari Enforcement Wing, the petitioner shall, within seven days, pay the entire amount to the competent authority without raising any further plea. The said indemnity bond be made in favour of the Superintendent of State Tax (GST) Churaibari Enforcement Wing. If the Superintendent of State Tax (GST) Churaibari Enforcement Wing is satisfied that the indemnity bond has been submitted in terms of this order, he shall release the vehicle and goods within three days from the submission of the indemnity bond.
It is made absolutely clear that this interim order shall be subject to the final decision of this court.
A copy of this order be furnished to Mr. K. Dey, learned Addl. G.A. appearing for the respondents.