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2016 (9) TMI 663 - PUNJAB & HARYANA HIGH COURT

2016 (9) TMI 663 - PUNJAB & HARYANA HIGH COURT - TMI - Detention of goods - train rake carrying pig iron - goods vehicle or not - Section 2 (l) of the act - interpretation of the exception clause of the definition - Whether the goods being transported in a vehicle running upon fixed rails can be detained under section 51 of the VAT Act? - Held that: - The term ''goods vehicle'' has been defined in Section 2 (l) of the Act to mean any mechanically propelled vehicle adapted for use upon roads but .....

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which are excluded from the definition of 'goods vehicle.' - the goods being transported in a vehicle running upon fixed rails could not be detained under Section 51 of the Act - penalty cannot be imposed. - Appeal of Revenue dismissed - decided against Revenue. - VAT Appeal No. 73 of 2009 (O&M) - Dated:- 16-8-2016 - Rajesh Bindal And Harinder Singh Sidhu, JJ. For the Respondent : Mr. Piyush Bansal, DAG Punjab. Mr. Vikram Anand, Advocate, Mr. Rishabh Kapoor, Advocate for Mr. Saurabh Kapoor, .....

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rs? (ii) Whether the order of the Tribunal is in accordance with law settled by this Hon'ble High Court in case of Mool Chand Chunni Lal Vs. Manmohan Singh, AETO (1977) 40-STC- 238? (iii) Whether the Tribunal has rightly interpreted the provisions of Section 6 (2) of the CST Act, 1956 when no document of transfer of title of the goods during the transit of the consignments was produced by the Respondent? (iv) Whether the penalty was rightly imposed under Section 51 (7) of the Act on the tran .....

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g iron was checked at Railway Station, Batala, on 16.10.2007 by the ETO (MW) Jalandhar. The goods were found to be pig iron. These were being transported from Kalem (Goa) to Batala Railway Station in 34 flat wagons, having 2 containers on each vehicle weighing 27.5 M.T. each. 3. On demand, owner of the goods produced 12RRs bearing Nos.710443 to 710454 dated 09.10.2007 showing consignor to be M/s Indo Arya Central Transport Ltd. Kalem and consignee M/s Indo Arya Central Transport Ltd. Batala. Opi .....

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e order dated 29.2.2008 dismissed the same. That order was challenged by respondent No.1 before the Tribunal, who vide order dated 8.6.2009, accepted the appeal and set aside the penalty. It is the aforesaid order which has been impugned in the present appeal by the State. 5. Learned counsel for the State submitted that the Tribunal had gone wrong in deciding the issue that the provisions of Section 51 could not be invoked and the goods could not have been detained, the same being transported th .....

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d in between. In support of the plea that the goods being transported by railway can be detained under Section 51 of the Act, reliance was placed upon a Division Bench judgment of this Court in CWP No. 16043 of 2005 Senior Divisional Commercial Manager and others Versus State of Punjab and others, decided on 16.5.2008. He further submitted that if this issue goes against the State, then no further issue arises in the present appeal. 6. On the other hand, learned counsel for respondent No.1 submi .....

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nalty has rightly been set aside by the Tribunal. He further submitted that the judgment of this Court in Senior Divisional Commercial Manager's case (supra) as referred to by learned counsel for the State is distinguishable on facts as in that case the goods were being transported in a Tempo from the place of booking by an agent to the Railway Station. Those were not intercepted during transit in a wagon on fix rail as was in the case in hand. He further referred to a Division Bench judgmen .....

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ported in a vehicle running upon fixed rails can be detained under section 51 of the VAT Act.'' 9. To appreciate the contentions being raised by learned counsel for the parties it would be appropriate to refer to the relevant provision of the VAT Act. SECTION 51. ESTABLISHMENT OF INFORMATION COLLECTION CENTRES OR CHECK POSTS AND INSPECTION OF GOODS IN TRANSIT: (1) If, with a view to prevent or check avoidance or evasion of tax under this Act, the State Government considers it necessary s .....

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rpose of business, as are being carried in the goods vehicle and produce a copy each of the aforesaid documents to an officer Incharge of a check post or information collection centre, or any other officer not below the rank of an Excise and Taxation Officer checking the vehicle at any place: PROVIDED THAT a person selling goods from within or outside the State in the course of inter-State trade or commerce, shall also furnish or cause to be furnished a declaration with such particulars, as may .....

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ion is transmitted thereto from an external or internal source and includes a chassis to which a body has not been attached and a trailer constructed or adapted for use for the carriage of goods and any vehicle not so constructed or adapted when used for the carriage of goods solely or in addition to passengers, but does not include a vehicle running upon fixed rails or a vehicle of a special type adapted for use only in a factory or any other enclosed premises; and (ii) any animal-driven or man .....

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k of an Excise and Taxation Officer checking the vehicle at any place. 11. The term ''goods vehicle'' has been defined in Section 2 (l) of the Act to mean any mechanically propelled vehicle adapted for use upon roads but does not include a vehicle running upon fixed rails or a vehicle of a special type adapted for use only in a factory or any other enclosed premises. 12. It is not disputed in the present appeal that the goods were checked when these were in wagons on fixed rails. .....

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the action of the authorities was without jurisdiction. The relevant para thereof is extracted below: ''..........It cannot, therefore, be accepted, as argued by Shri Sawhney, that sub-section (6) of section 14-B would be attracted even in the case of an animal-driven cart carrying the goods. In sub-section (7) again, the officer detaining the goods has been empowered to record the statement of the owner of the goods or his representative or the driver or other person in-charge of the go .....

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