Petitioner challenges Exts.P5, P6 and P8. Ext.P8 is an order issued by the respondent under Section 129(3) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (For short, the Act).
Petitioner contends that his vehicle was detained under Section 129(1) on the ground that there was a violation of Rule 138 of the GST Rules, since the E-Way bill issue had expired few hours before the vehicle was detained.
2. Learned counsel for the petitioner, Sri. A Kumar, further contends, that the appellate remedy available under the statute is of no consequence in the instant case in view of the peculiar facts arising. He seeks indulgence of this Court to interfere in exercise of the extra ordinary jurisdiction under Article 226. The learned counsel refers to other writ petitions pending consideration before this Court, wherein, similar contentions are raised and which have been already heard by this Court and decisions awaited. Coming to the facts of this case, it was contended that, the respondent while passing Ext.P8, had not taken into reckoning the objections filed by the petitioner and instead, acted mechanically, without even any reference in Annexure-III of Ext.P8, about the various contentions raised by him. According to the learned counsel, the order impugned is not a reasoned one and the same renders the order without any basis and in excess of jurisdiction.
3. I have heard the learned Senior Government Pleader Sri.C.K Govindan also, who points out Section 107 of the Act as the remedy available to the petitioner.
4. Ext.P8 is an order passed under Section 129 (3) of the Act.. It is appealable under Section 107 of the Act. Even though this Court can, in exceptional circumstances interfere with detention orders, this is not a fit case where this Court should interfere, in exercise of its extraordinary jurisdiction.
It has been held that Section 129 is a complete code in itself.
When the procedure required under the said provision has been apparently followed, an interference under Article 226 is not warranted. The legislative scheme discernible from Section 129 of the Act contemplates compliance of natural justice. Since after detention, Ext.P6 notice was issued and an order was passed after giving an opportunity of being heard, this Court is prima facie of the view that this is not a fit case to invoke Article 226 of the Constitution of India. In such circumstances, it is ideal to relegate the petitioner to the appellate remedy available under Section 107 of the Act.
5. However, since the goods have been detained and has been lying under detention, the same can be released if the petitioner furnishes a bank guarantee, for the amount demanded in Ext.P8 within one week from today. If the petitioner furnishes a Bank Guarantee for the entire amount demand in Ext.P8 within seven days from today, the goods and vehicle detained under Ext.P8 order shall be released to the petitioner forthwith. If the petitioner fails to file an appeal within the period prescribed under the law, the Bank Guarantee can be encashed. On the other hand, if the petitioner files an appeal within the time prescribed, the Bank Guarantee shall not be encashed till disposal of the appeal.
Needless to state, the appeal if any shall be filed in accordance with law.
The writ petition is disposed of accordingly.