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26 March 2020

Order, if not served on Aggrieved party, shall not be regarded as a proper service of order

Hon'ble Allahabad High Court in a recent matter of M/s Jindal Pipes Ltd. v. State of Uttar Pradesh reported in 2020 (34) G.S.T.L. 48 (All.); Writ Tax no. 1366 of 2019 decided on 20 January 2020, held that service of order by proper office on driver of vehicle is not a valid service as not served on the person who would have been aggrieved by the order. 

In this matter, Goods were being transported from Ghaziabad to Ghazipur on 20 August 2018 where upon interception of consignment at Kanpur, it was discovered that the distance in E-way bill, generated by Consignor, has been stated as 90 kms which was in fact 980 kms. Goods were seized under Section 129 of UPGST Act, 2017 which were subsequently Releasesd upon payment of tax and penalty by the Consignor. Accordingly, an order was passed on 21 August 2019 against which petitioner filed an appeal on 06 March 2019. However, the appeal was dismissed on the sole ground, being appeal filed beyond the period of limitation.

Counsel of the petitioner while placing reliance on the judgment of same Court in the matter of S/S. Patel Hardware v. Commr. of State reported in 2019 (21) GSTN 145 pleaded that the impugned order was served on the driver of the vehicle, who was the driver of transport agency, and therefore, it was neither served on consignor nor on the consignee. It was pleaded that driver was not the 'person aggrieved' to whom the order has been communicated and thus, appeal was filed within the limitation prescribed.

Hon'ble High Court held that order served on driver is not a valid service and accordingly, appeal was allowed as filed within time limitation.