Larger Bench to decide State’s power to prescribe e-Way Bill for inter-state movement: Allahabad HC

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Allahabad HC calls upon Larger Bench for an affirmative pronouncement on validity of Notification dated July 21, 2017 issued under Rule 138 of U.P. GST Rules prescribing e-Way Bill for import of consignment above Rs. 50,000/- into the State. Notes diametrically opposite conclusions by coordinate benches whereby the Notification was affirmed in case of U.P. Kar Adhivakta Sangathan, but held as illegal in Satyendra Goods Transport Corporation.

HC finds prima facie merit in assessee’s submission that Section 20(xv) and (xx) of IGST Act, when read along with Rule 2(53) and Rule 138 of CGST Rules, provides authority to Central Govt. to specify, by Notification, the documents that person in-charge of conveyance shall carry while transporting consignment. Even the temporary arrangement under Rule 138 of CGST Rules, till such time as e-Way Bill system was developed and approved by GST Council, contemplated the Central Govt. to specify documents by issuing Notification. Observes that these provisions had been appropriately referred to by Madras HC, Kerala HC and coordinate bench in Satyendra Goods Transport Corporation.

Accordingly, HC states, “While one judgment seems to have not considered relevant statutory provisions, the other judgment seems to have overlooked the earlier judgment which may, otherwise, have constituted binding precedent. In such situation, it may be said that the doctrine of per incuriam applies to both judgments, though in different contexts”. Resultantly, HC also calls for determination of legality of seizure / penalty proceedings undertaken by State Tax Authorities for violation of provisions; In the interest of justice, directs release of goods and vehicle upon the assessee furnishing an indemnity bond for amount of tax and penalty levied.

Citation: [TS-163-HC-2018(ALL)-NT]