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Sherowali Trade & Transport, Ujjyanta Road Service, Ram Krishna Roadways, M.S. Freight (India) Private Limited, Saahra Road Lines and Pawan Roadways Versus State of Tripura and others

2015 (5) TMI 1022 - TRIPURA HIGH COURT

Seeking setting aside of impugned order - Show cause notices issued are vague in most of the cases - Petitioners are transporters registered under the Tripura Value Added Tax Act, 2004 - Held that:- there was a practice going on for long in Tripura that the transporters used to deal with the check post and settle the cases with the departments. In case the transporter compounds the matter then the transporter is virtually admitting that he is at fault because compounding can only be done by the .....

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at they have compounded these matters, it is apparent that they settled the matters. Whether these matters were settled on behalf of the dealers or not is not for this Court to decide in these proceedings. Therefore, for the future, we make it clear that if the transporter settles the matter and compounds the matter at the check post it shall be deemed that he is the offender and, therefore, he is compounding the matter unless he produces a written authorization from the dealer authorizing the t .....

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kraborty. For the Respondents : S. Chakraborty, Additional Government Advocate and D. C. Nath. JUDGMENT All these petitions are being disposed of by a common judgment since the main issues involved in the cases are virtually identical. 2. In all the cases the petitioners are transporters duly registered under the Tripura Value Added Tax Act, 2004 (hereinafter referred to as,"the T.V.A.T. Act,"). Under Section 22 of the T.V.A.T. Act, no transporter, carrier or transporting agency can op .....

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transporter if the transporter, carrier or transporting agency carries on transport business in contravention of the Act and Rules. This clearly shows that the Commissioner has the power to cancel the registration in favour of the transporter in case it is found that the transporter is violating the rules. 3. Section 67 of the T.V.A.T. Act, deals with establishment of check posts for inspection of goods in transport. Section 67(2) provides that the Driver or person in charge of the vehicle or th .....

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rters:- (1) If the Commissioner is satisfied that any transporter has delivered taxable goods to any person without obtaining from the dealer, copy of the valid permit or has concealed the actual particulars of the consignment transported by him, the Commissioner may direct that such transporter shall pay, in addition to tax, by way of penalty, a sum which may extend to one hundred and fifty percent of the tax involved. (2) No order under sub-section (1) shall be made unless the transporter has .....

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ner to compound the offences and it is not disputed that all the transporters in these cases have compounded offences on a number of occasions. 7. Section 87 of the Act empowers the government to frame rules to carry out the purpose of the Act and the rules have been framed thereunder. 8. Rule 17 deals with transporters. Sub-rules (1) to (5) of Rule 17 relates to registration of the transporters. Sub-rules (6) again provides that if the transporter, transporting agency or carrier violates the pr .....

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llows:- "17. Registration of Transporters Carriers or Transporting Agent:- .... (8) No taxable goods shall be delivered by the transporter, carrier or transporting agent unless the requirements laid down in Rule 48 and 51 have been complied with. (9) No delivery of taxable goods shall be given by the transporter without obtaining a copy of permit in Form-XXIV signed by the Superintendent of Taxes/Inspector of Taxes. ...." 10. Sub-rule (8) clearly mandates that the transporter, carrier .....

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in the permit in Form-XXIV duly signed by the Superintendent of Taxes before handing over the goods to any person or dealer. 11. Rules 48 and 49 read as follows:- "48. A registered dealer shall, before taking delivery of or transporting from any place specified in Rule 47, any consignment of taxable goods exceeding the quantities specified in the said rule and dispatched from any place outside Tripura, produced for countersignature before the Superintendent or Inspector the railway receipt, .....

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e Officer-in-charge, of the check post or the barrier on being satisfied about the correctness of the statements made and particulars contained in the declaration in form-XXV, shall seal it with his official seal and give a permit. The duplicate and triplicate copies of Form-XXV shall thereupon be returned to the Transporter and the original copy shall be retained by the officer-in-charge and the same shall be forwarded to the concerned Superintendent of Taxes after the end of every month.:- Pro .....

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ay be notified by the Commissioner. The form shall be in triplicate and serially numbered and account shall be maintained in the Office of the Superintendent of Taxes in a register. No form, other than Form XXV supplied from the Office of the Superintendent of Taxes, shall be entertained. Registered transporter shall submit triplicate copy of Form XXV to the concerned Superintendent of Taxes at the time of obtaining further supply of the said form.:- Provided that the transporter may be supplied .....

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porter under sub-rule (3) is lost or destroyed or stolen, it should immediately report the fact of such loss, destruction or theft to the Superintendent of Taxes concerned. (6) When the registration certificate of a transporter is cancelled/suspended, such transporter shall forthwith surrender to the concerned Superintendent of Taxes, all unused Form XXV remaining in stock with it and the concerned Superintendent of Taxes shall thereupon cancel and mutilate such form so surrendered." 12. Ru .....

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transporter carries the goods he must correctly depict the goods in the Form-XXV. 14. We can, therefore, summarize the duties of the transporter as follows:- "I. The driver or any other agent of the transporter accompanying the goods must carry with him the Challan, Bills of Sale or Dispatch Memos, prescribed declaration form etc. in Form-XXV and XXVI. II. These documents must be carried by the driver or the person accompanying the goods in the vehicle. Form-XXV can only contain the descrip .....

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packing should be clearly depicted and if anything is mentioned on the packing that should also be mentioned. IV. Once the goods reach the destination, it is the duty of the transporter to ensure that no delivery is made to the dealer unless the dealer handovers Form-XXIV duly signed by the Superintendent of Taxes." These are the only duties which are expected of a transporter. If he is violates such duties then he is definitely liable to punishment. 15. There is one issue which we are fac .....

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e description and value of goods. However, where the description on the face of it does not match the packing then the transporter must explain why there is a discrepancy. Obviously the transporter cannot know what is inside the box but when the goods are in an open condition and are clearly visible then it is the duty of the transporter to ensure that the goods which he transports match the description given in Form-XVI and are duly entered in Form-XXV. 16. We would, however, like to clarify th .....

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as purposely entered something else in Form-XXV. 17. We have clarified the law in detail not because these issues clearly arise in these cases but because lack of clarification is leading to a lot of problem both for the dealers as well as for the department. As far as the present cases are concerned, it is not disputed that the transporters have on a number of occasions compounded the matters and paid the penalty. 18. It has been urged on behalf of the petitioners that there was a practice goin .....

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nd that in most of the cases the show cause notices issued are very vague and do not clearly depict what are the violations made by the transporter. But in the final order reference has been made to the various violations committed by the transporter and compounded by them. Since the transporters have not denied that they have compounded these matters, it is apparent that they settled the matters. Whether these matters were settled on behalf of the dealers or not is not for this Court to decide .....

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