THE MP HIGH COURT LEVIES A MODEST PENALTY FOR A CLERICAL ERROR ON AN E-WAY BILL

Justice Sheel Nagu and Justice Manindar Bhatti of the Madhya Pradesh High Court have ruled that a minimal penalty can be levied for a clerical error in an e-way bill’s address.

The petitioner/assessee, a private company that manufactures steel and HT wires, entered into a supply agreement with Reva Engineering Pvt. Ltd., Jabalpur. The goods had to be delivered to the factory in Rewa, as per the agreement. As a result of the agreement, Aryan Transport Company, Nagpur, had able to transport a consignment by vehicle.

The destination, as well as the registration number of the vehicle that had been brought on record, were indicated on a tax invoice. The petitioner created an E-way bill that had to be transported with the goods. However, the address on the E-way bill was listed as the consignee’s registered office in Jabalpur, rather than Rewa, and as a result, the Revenue Authorities initiated proceedings under Section 129 of the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017, which ultimately resulted in the passing of an order imposing additional tax and a penalty on the petitioner, as well as dismissing the appeal against the order. The petitioner has challenged both the original and appellate authority’ orders.

The petitioner claimed that the error in generating the E-way bill was an unintended human error, and that no attempt was made to evade tax liability, especially because the vehicle number delivering the items was the same.

The court stated that the department will be free to assess the petitioner’s case for a nominal penalty while treating the error as a clerical error in accordance with a circular issued by the Ministry of Finance of India.

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