Transporter can offload consignments in any order - No rule that consignments intended for a party at a shorter distance should be offloaded first
In the case of Vijay Metal v. Deputy Commercial Tax Officer cited in  127 taxmann.com 397 (TELANGANA), the petitioner is a trader in steel registered under the CGST Act, 2017 having registered office at Ranigunj, Secunderabad and in the course of business purchased stainless steel pipes and tubes from M/s. Santosh Steel and Pipes India Private Limited, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
The petitioner hired M/s. Anmol Parcel Services for transporting the material from Dadra and Nagar Haveli to Secunderabad. The said transporter also booked the material of M/s. Simi Steels, Adoni, Kurnool District from the same vendor M/s. Santosh Steels, Dadra and Nagar Haveli to it's business premises at Adoni, Kurnool District.
For carrying the material to these two destinations, one at Secunderabad and the other at Adoni, two waybills were generated, one from Dadra and Nagar Haveli to Secunderabad for a travel of 867 kms. and the other from Dadra and Nagar Haveli to Adoni which is at a distance of 940 kms.
The petitioner alleges that the transporter M/s. Anmol Parcel Services, while loading the goods on the goods vehicle, loaded the material of the petitioner first, and then loaded the material of M/s. Simi Steels as the quantity of the petitioner amounting to 14320.90 kgs. was more and much heavier than the material of M/s. Simi Steels which was 2018.15 kgs.; and so the latter was loaded on top of the goods vehicle.
It is also contended that the vehicle was carrying valid documents like invoices and e-waybills and as the vehicle was carrying the same quantity of goods as mentioned in the invoice and e-waybill, the assumption of the authority about evasion of GST is imaginary and there was no violation of the CGST Act, SGST Act or IGST Act.
The petitioner alleges that the 1st respondent did not consider the reply of the petitioner and demanded the petitioner to pay tax and penalty for release of the vehicle, and the petitioner was forced to pay the same under protest on 4-1-2021 to secure release of the vehicle.
The respondent has contended that to go to Adoni, Andhra Pradesh, the conveyance has to first pass Hyderabad, Telangana and the goods destined to the petitioner in Hyderabad should be delivered to the petitioner first, and then only the goods vehicle/conveyance should have proceeded to Adoni subsequently for delivery; but the vehicle was carrying the goods of both the Hyderabad recipient (being the petitioner) and Adoni recipient (being M/s. Simi Steels) at the time of interception.
The petitioner contends that in spite of the driver explaining to the 1st respondent that, for operational convenience, the goods which were destined to Adoni were loaded on top for being delivered first, and that the vehicle was rightly proceeding towards Adoni, that he was a resident of Hyderabad and after delivering the goods at Adoni, he would then come back to Hyderabad, the 1st respondent did not consider his explanation and detained the vehicle.
The Hon’ble High Court of Talangana has stated that we do not appreciate the stand taken by the respondent. This fundamental issue the respondent shockingly did not understand and simply went by the point that Hyderabad comes first and Adoni comes later ignoring the operational convenience of the transporter.
It is also not the case of the respondent that there is any prohibition for a consignor to load the consignments to two different destinations intended for two different parties in two different States on a single conveyance; and there is any rule that consignments intended for a party at a shorter distance should be offloaded first.
The Hon’ble High Court has held that in our considered opinion, the 1st respondent had acted mechanically without application of mind to the operational convenience of the transporter. Also for the bonafide action of the transporter, the 1st respondent cannot mulct the petitioner with tax and penalty. Accordingly, the Writ Petition is allowed; the order of detention in Form GST MOV-06 on 29-12-2020 passed under section 129(3) of the CGST Act, 2017 by the respondent is set aside.