A Writ petition was filed in HC of Kerala by Jeelani against Assistant State Tax Officer State Goods and Service Tax Department & Deputy Commissioner (GST)

The petitioner has approached the Court aggrieved by detention of his vehicle, which was used for carrying 445 kilograms of cardamom from Kattappana to Kumali for entrusting the goods for auction pooling at Kumali. In the Writ Petition, it is the case of the petitioner that, while the goods were being transported in the Jeep in question, on the onward journey to Kumali, the vehicle was intercepted, and after verification of the documents it was permitted to transport the goods to the auction destination. The vehicle on its return journey, without the goods, was however intercepted, yet again, by the respondent and detained on the ground that the goods had not been auctioned on the same date on which it was proceeding to Kumali for entrustment of the goods for auction. 

It is a case where there was no justification for detention of the vehicle on its return journey, more so when, it is not in dispute that the goods although not auctioned on the same date as the onward transportation, were subsequently auctioned from the auction center on 16.07.2020, and hence, there was no offence for which the vehicle could have been detained on its return journey.  Detention notice is impugned on this ground.

When the matter came up for admission on 27.07.2020, the Court posted the matter for enabling the Government Pleader to ascertain whether the goods that were carried by the vehicle had in fact been auctioned on 16.07.2020. When the matter was taken, the learned Government Pleader submitted, on instructions, that the goods had in fact been auctioned on 16.07.2020 and the detention of the vehicle on its return journey was only on account of a misunderstanding that the petitioner had declared that the goods would be auctioned on the same day as the onward transportation but they were not so auctioned on the said date.

On a consideration of the rival submission and finding it was held that the detention was on account of a misunderstanding of the nature of the transaction and transportation of the goods, and finding that the onward transportation of the goods was covered by valid documents, and on the return journey, when the vehicle was intercepted, it was not carrying any goods that had contravened the provisions of the Act. HC disposed of the Writ Petition with a direction to the respondent to release the vehicle forthwith that has been detained.