1. By this writ application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the writ applicant – a Propitiatory concern through its proprietor has prayed for the following reliefs:
“(A) This Hon’ble Court may be pleased to issue a writ of certiorari or writ in the nature of certiorari or any other appropriate writ, order or direction quashing and setting aside the impugned detention order dated 29.11.2020 (annexed at Annexure A) passed under Section 129(1) of the GST Acts as being wholly without jurisdiction, arbitrary and illegal ;
(B) This Hon’ble Court may be pleased to issue a writ or mandamus or writ in the nature of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction quashing and setting aside impugned notice dated 29.11.2020 (annexed at Annexure B) issued under Section 129(1) of the GST Acts demanding tax and penalty as being wholly without jurisdiction, arbitrary and illegal;
(C) This Hon’ble Court may be pleased to issue a writ of mandamus or writ in the nature of mandamus or any other appropriate writ or order directing the respondents to forthwith release truck number RJ-04-GB-2093 along with goods contained therein;
(D) Without prejudice to the above and in the alternative this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to issue a writ of mandamus or writ in the nature of mandamus or any other appropriate writ or order directing the respondents to forthwith release truck number RJ-04-GB-2093 along with goods contained therein on the basis of some undertaking/bond/security;
(E) Pending notice, admission and final hearing of this petition, this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to direct the respondents to firthwith release truck number RJ-04-GB-2093 along with goods contained therein and proceedings pursuant to impugned notice dated 29.11.2020 (annexed at Annexure B) may please be stayed;
(F) Ex parte ad interim relief in terms of prayer E may kindly be granted.”
2. The facts giving rise to this writ application may be summarized as under:
The writ applicant is engaged in the business of trading of the TMT bars. The writ applicant is duly registered under the GST Act. The writ applicant received an order for the purchase of TMT bars from M/s. Shivam Scrap Traders located at Ahmedabad and also registered under the GST Act. The writ applicant in turn placed the order with M/s. Osiya Traders, a registered taxable person situated at Jalna, State of Maharashtra. It is not in dispute that the vendor at Maharashtra duly prepared the tax invoices and also generated the e-way bill for the transaction prior to the commencement of the movement of the goods.
3. It appears that as the writ applicant was already in receipt of the order from M/s. Shivam Scrap Traders of Ahmedabad, the writ applicant instructed the vendor and the transporter at Maharashtra to directly deliver the goods to the customer of the writ applicant in Ahmedabad. For such purpose, the writ applicant also prepared the tax invoice and generated the e-way bill, which were forwarded to the transporter.
4. It appears that while generating the e-way bill, the option of “bill to ship to” was selected which is even reflected in the e-way bill. It has been specifically mentioned in the e-way bill that the goods have been dispatched from Jalna, State of Maharashtra. As the goods were being transported at the behest of the writ applicant to its customer at Ahmedabad, the invoice and e-way bill of the writ applicant were accompanying the goods. It appears that the respondent Nos.1 and 2 detained the goods on 29.11.2020 while in transit in exercise of power under Section 129 (1) of the GST Act on the ground that there is some mismatch between the invoice and the e-way bill inasmuch as the invoice had been issued by the writ applicant situated at Bhavnagar where the place of dispatch mentioned in the e-way bill is shown to be Jalna at State of Maharashtra.
5. In such circumstances referred to above, the writ applicant has come up with the present application.
6. We have heard Mr. Uchit Sheth, the learned counsel appearing for the writ applicant and Mr. K.M.Antani, the learned AGP appearing for the State Respondent.
7. Mr. Sheth pointed out that at the time of detention itself, the writ applicant explained to the authority concerned that the transaction was a “Bill to ship to” and the same has been mentioned in the e-way bill itself. Mr. Sheth further pointed out that his client has also addressed written submissions to the respondent No.2 requesting for release of the goods as there has been no contravention of the provisions of the Rules.
8. This matter was heard by this Court yesterday. Having regard to the facts as narrated above, we requested Mr. K.M.Antani to take appropriate instructions from the officer concerned and revert to us today. In such circumstances, the matter has been once again notified today for further hearing.
9. Mr. Antani, the learned AGP has fairly pointed out that he has discussed the matter with the officer concerned and he has been instructed to make a statement before the court that the inquiry conducted so far has revealed that there has been no contravention of any of the provisions of the Act or the Rules. Mr. Antani further submits that, as there was some confusion, the authority concerned thought fit to detain the goods under Section 129 of the Act. However, after thorough inquiry, the authority itself has come to the conclusion that it is no longer necessary to detain the goods and the vehicle.
10. In view of the specific stance of the respondent No.2, as noted above, we now need not go into the merits of this matter. This writ application stands allowed. The respondent No.2 shall release the goods as well as the vehicle at the earliest. As it may take some time to transfer the order, Mr. Antani is requested to communicate this order to the respondent No.2.