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Vehicle can’t be Detained for Non-Filing of GST Returns: Kerala HC [Read Order]

GST Returns - GSTR-1 Flood Taxscan

The single bench of the Kerala High Court has held that for Non -Filing of GST returns of  GSTR-3B and GSTR-1 can’t be a reason for detaining vehicles.

Judgement was rendered by Justice A.K Jayasankaran Nambiar on a writ petition filed by Relcon Foundations (p) Ltd.

The writ petitioner challenged in the petition against the order for physical verification and confiscation of goods for convenience notice for proposing confiscation of the goods belonging to the petitioner that was detained while in transit. A perusal of Ex.P1 order would indicate that the detention of the vehicle carrying the goods was on the ground that the GSTR 3B returns have not been filed from June 2018 and GSTR 1 had not been filed from March 2019. Court pointed out that the said grounds cannot be justified for the detention of vehicles under section 129 of the KGST Act.

GSTR-3B is a monthly summary return filed by a taxpayer by the 20th of the next month. GSTR-3B discloses supplies made during the month along with GST returns to be paid, input tax credit claimed, purchases on which reverse charge is applicable, etc., and also makes a provision for the payment of taxes, if any, for the relevant month.

GSTR-1 is a monthly or quarterly return filed by taxpayers to disclose details of their outward supplies for the month – along with their tax liability. Here, invoice-wise details are to be uploaded so that the Government can keep a check on every transaction; this forms the basis for the recipient of supplies to accept the same and take the eligible input tax credit.

Further elaboration of section 129 of the KGST Act, which begins with a non obstante clause empowers the officers to detain seize the goods documents and the conveyance, if the goods are transported or stored during the transit in contravention of the provisions of this Act or rules made but in the instant case section 129 is not applicable just or a reason stated in order and notice.

Justice A.K. Jayasakaran Nambiar observed that in the instant case contention of learned counsel for the petitioner that the reasons stated in order cannot be a justification of detaining goods in terms of section 129 of KGST Act. Similarly, the said ground cannot form the basis of notice proposing confiscation of the goods detained in as much as the ingredients of the offence covered by Section 130 are not satisfied.

To Read the full text of the Order CLICK HERE
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