Kerala HC: High Court can’t be approached in Goods Detention cases if effective alternative remedies of provisional clearance are available

Judgement:-

The Kerala High Court ruled that the writ court cannot be approached in Goods detention cases if effective alternative remedies of provisional clearance and appeal are available.

Facts of the case:-

The petitioner, Podaran Foods India Private Limited filed the writ petitions challenging detention orders passed under the GST Act when the scheme of the Act clearly indicated that the writ court was not to be ordinarily approached in detention cases where effective alternative remedies by way of provisional clearance, and appeal thereafter, were provided against alleged arbitrary/illegal detention orders.

Interpretation of law:-

The goods and the vehicles were detained by the respondents on the ground that there was only one common invoice (for 22 packages) that was generated in respect of the two consignments, and when compared with the number of packages that were contained in each of the vehicles, there was a shortage of packages in both the vehicles.

It was also found that the petitioner had not complied with the procedure prescribed under Rule 55 (5) of the CGST Rules while transporting goods in semi-knocked down (SKD) or completely knocked down (CKD) condition or in batches or lots. In particular, it was pointed out that the consignments were not covered by separate delivery challans for each vehicle.

Conclusion:-

The single-judge bench of Justice A.K.Jayasankaran Nambiar clarified that any person aggrieved by the order of the proper officer must necessarily approach the appellate authority before which an appeal against the adjudication order under Section 129 (3) of the Act is maintainable.

The court observed that the remedy of the assessee was to approach the appellate authority under the Act against the finding of the proper officer. There was no reason to interfere with the adjudication orders in Form GST MOV-9 impugned in the writ petition. The assessee was relegated to his alternate remedy of preferring appeals against the said adjudication orders before the appellate authority under the Act. Therefore, the court refused to interfere with the adjudication orders in Form GST MOV-9 impugned in the writ petition.

The petitioner is relegated to his alternate remedy of preferring appeals against the said adjudication orders before the appellate authority under the Act. All contentions, legal and factual, are left open to be agitated by the petitioner before the appellate authority.

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