Seizure notice can be issued against transporter in case of non-payment of tax; not being registered or taxable person is immaterial

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Provisions of section 129 (Detention, seizure and release of goods and conveyance in transit) and 130 (Confiscation of goods or conveyances and levy of penalty) of CGST Act and UPGST Act (“said Act”) can be made applicable even against truck owner (“petitioner”), who is not a registered person or a supplier or a taxable person or is not doing any business.

Facts:

The vehicle of the petitioner was intercepted, goods therein along with the vehicle were seized and Show Cause Notice (“SCN”) was issued on petitioner under section 130 of the said Act. In response, the petitioner filed a writ petition seeking a direction to the Competent Authority to drop the proceedings initiated against him and release the vehicle.

Petitioner’s Contention:

Petitioner plead that, he is not doing any ‘business’ as contemplated in clause (17) of section 2 and is not a ‘supplier’ as defined in clause (105) of section 2 and is not a ‘registered person’ as defined in clause (94) of section 2 or that he is not a ‘taxable person’ as defined in clause (107) of section 2 and hence proceedings initiated against him should be dropped and his vehicle should be directed to be released.

Findings:

Section 122(3)(b) of the said Act, dealing with penalty for certain offences, states that, any person who acquire possession of, or in any way concerns himself in transporting, removing, ………..” would be liable for payment of penalty to the extent of Rs. 25,000, if he is found guilty of the offence. Likewise, section 129 and 130 is also made applicable on ‘any person’

Held:

The Hon’ble Allahabad High Court vide it’s writ tax nos. 1645, 1660, 1661, 1676, 1697 of 2018 dated March 14, 2019 held that, it is immaterial that the petitioner is not a registered person or a supplier or a taxable person or is not doing any business as defined in various clauses of section 2. It is enough that he is a transporter of goods and the goods are being transported and have been seized in transit and if the charge is made out against the transporter, the revenue can proceed to seize such goods including the conveyance.

In view of the aforesaid, there is no good ground for interfering in the impugned show cause notice. Therefore, the writ petition deserved to be dismissed.

Citation:[2019] 104 taxmann.com 453 (Allahabad)