GST officers appointed under the MPGST Act, 2017 authorized to act as proper officers under IGST Act: HC of Madhya Pradesh

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M/s. Advantage India Logistics (P.) Ltd (‘the petitioner’) is praying for quashment of seizure memo dated July 15, 2018, issued under Section 129(1) of Madhya Pradesh Goods & Services Tax Act, 2017 (MPGST Act, 2017) by contending that M. P. State Government or officials authorized under the MPGST Act, 2017 have no jurisdiction to exercise the powers under the Integrated Goods and Services Act, 2017 (IGST Act, 2017), particularly under Section 4 of the IGST Act, 2017  i.e. Without prejudice to the provisions of this Act, the officers appointed under the State Goods and Services Tax Act or the Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Act are authorised to be the proper officers for the purposes of this Act, subject to such exceptions and conditions as the Government shall, on the recommendations of the Council, by notification, specify.

The petitioner further averred that there is no separate notification authorizing officials of the State Government under the IGST Act to exercise powers under the IGST Act, 2017, therefore, the respondent Nos.3 and 4 have no power to inspect, search and seize goods under the IGST Act, 2017 and prayed for its quashment.

The High Court of Madhya Pradesh in the case of Advantage India Logistics (P.) Ltd. vs. Union of India vide WRIT PETITION NO. 16266 OF 2018 dated August 23, 2018 has admitted the position that the subject vehicle was transporting goods for inter-state supply of goods from Gurgaon, Haryana to Pune, Maharashtra. As per E-Way Bill System, the number of vehicle was mentioned as HR-38-0823 whereas, the correct vehicle number is HR-38-X-0823. It was found by the respondent No.4 that the E-Way Bill was defective and not updated, therefore, show cause notice was issued on July 13, 2018 to inspect the subject vehicle on July 15, 2018. As the IGST Act deals with taxability of inter-State supply of goods and services. From perusal of section 4 of the said Act, it is clear that the officers appointed under the Madhya Pradesh GST Act was authorized to be proper officers for the purposes of the IGST Act, no notification was issued by the Central Government under section 4 of the IGST Act. By order dated October 12, 2017, the Competent Authority was authorized as proper officer and was bestowed with powers such as inspection, search and seizure under section 68 of the Madhya Pradesh GST Act

However, from perusal of the aforesaid, it is clear that the officers appointed under the MPGST Act, 2017 was authorized to be proper officers for the purposes of the IGST Act. Therefore, the contention of the petitioner that in absence of any Notification issued under Section 4 of the IGST Act action of the Competent Authority is wholly without jurisdiction has no force. In view of the statutory appeal provided under the statute, writ petition required to be dismissed with liberty to avail the remedy of appeal provided under the statute.

Citation: [2018] 98 taxmann.com 120 (Madhya Pradesh)

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