Digital Copy of E-Way Bill sufficient for Transportation under GST: Allahabad HC

Image result for eway billThe Allahabad High Court in Bhumika Entreprises v. State of U.P & Ors ruled that the consignment need not be supported with the hard copy of the E-way Bill as the current Goods and Services Tax ( GST ) laws permits possession of digital copies. 

E-way bills can also be stored in electronic form on a mobile phone or another device. Under GST, ferrying goods worth more than Rs 50,000 within or outside a state will require securing an electronic-way or e-way bill through prior online registration of the consignment. The system was implemented nationally for interstate movement on April 1. Intra-State e-way bills are being rolled out in phases, with some states having adopted them on April 15. 
In the instant case, the vehicle of the petitioner was intercepted by the GST authorities on the ground that no hard copy of E-Way Bill was carried by them during consignment. The petitioner contended that due to technical fault of the State Website E-way bill-02 could not be generated on 25.3.2018 before the movement of the goods from Varanasi to Fatehpur, however, the same was generated on 26.3.2018 in the morning which was much before the date of seizure order which has been admittedly passed on 27.3.2018 at 6 p.m. It was further contended that since both the consignor and consignee are registered with the respective Assessing Authority and are allotted requisite GSTIN number, therefore, there was no reason to disbelieve the contention of the petitioner. 
Allowing the contentions of the petitioner, the bench comprising Justice Ashok Kumar and Justice Krishna Murari noted that the “tax invoice was raised in favour of the consignee namely M/s Ram Naresh Ramakant, Bindki, Fatehpur and the same was available with the seizing authority and we see no reason as to why the seizing authority has not made any effort to make inquiry from the said dealer/consignee whose TIN number was mentioned in the tax invoice. We see that the seizing authority though has mentioned the GSTIN number of some dealer situates at Allahabad but no details of the said dealer have been given in the impugned seizure order nor the details of the mobile number holder.” 
“Since the tax invoice indicating the tax charged and the same admittedly found during the course of inspection/detention and E-way bill-02 has been downloaded much before the seizure order, we see no justification in the impugned seizure order and therefore, we have no option but to allow the present writ petition and to set aside the seizure order dated 27.3.2018 as well as the show cause notice issued under Section 129(3) of the Act for imposition of penalty,” the bench said.

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