The Gujarat high court ordered the central GST department to return a confiscated truck and its goods to its owner because the department passed confiscation orders despite all required procedures being followed. GST officials intercepted a truck carrying electrical brass parts from Jamnagar to Delhi this January. The driver showed them all the necessary documents, but the officials were not satisfied and asked for physical verification of goods.
After a few investigations, the department claimed that the owner, Mustak Shaikh, had generated 42 e-way bills showing IGST of Rs 3.64 crore, but either the dealer did not pay the amount, or the purchases were not genuine. Though the officials did not find any discrepancy in the papers, they took the procedure to the level of confiscation of the vehicle, goods, and imposition of penalty. Shaikh was arrested for tax evasion and later released on bail.
He will face a trial. Meanwhile, Shaikh’s company, Insha Trading Company, approached the high court though advocate Chetan Pandya and challenging the CGST officials’ action of confiscation of the vehicle without following the initial procedure. The high court found that the CGST officials had gone ahead with the procedure without satisfying the requirements of a circular issued in April 2018. Though there were all documents with the truck driver and no discrepancy was found, the truck was wrongly not allowed to move ahead and the matter was carried out up to the stage of confiscation.