MUKHTYAR SINGH Vs. COMMISSIONER, COMMERCIAL TAX
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND (AT: NAINITAL)
COMMISSIONER, COMMERCIAL TAX
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(1.) In the instant case, PVC granules on a truck were seized when, admittedly, all required documents were available with the truck driver. The fact remains that the accompanying form 16 was not deposited with the nearest office of the Department, as was required to be done. The goods were to be delivered at Roorkee. They were seized on Thakurdwara-Jaspur road. It was found that the truck, carrying the goods, was to enter the State of Uttarakhand, from the State of Uttar Pradesh, through Bhaguwala, District Bijnore, Uttar Pradesh; whereas, the truck diverted towards Udham Singh Nagar and, as aforesaid, was found on Thakurdwara-Jaspur road at the time of its seizure. On the apprehension that the truck driver had intention of selling the seized goods to industries at Udham Singh Nagar, the goods were seized. The goods were permitted to be released upon such seizure only after furnishing a security of Rs. 6,14,322. On an application made for release of the goods without furnishing security, the Deputy Commissioner (Enforcement), Commercial Tax, reduced the amount of security to Rs. 1,53,581. On approach being made to the Deputy Commissioner (Enforcement), he refused to interfere. The matter was, thereafter, taken before the Tribunal. The Tribunal, though noticed the provisions of section 43 of the Act and though found that the authority to seize vests only when the goods are not accounted for by the dealer in his accounts or registers or other documents maintained in course of his business or when the goods are not traced to any bona fide dealer or it is doubtful if such goods have properly been accounted for by the dealer in his accounts or other documents maintained in course of business; felt that depiction of mere apprehended intention to sell, as the goods were found near Udham Singh Nagar though the same were to be delivered at Roorkee, was enough to uphold the order of the Deputy Commissioner (Enforcement). The fact remains that the documents accompanying the goods clearly indicated that the goods were of Haldiya Petrochemicals Ltd. and the same were being taken to M/s. Jyothy Laboratories Ltd. When the goods were being transported through a truck, the truck driver, in his capacity as the agent of M/s. Jyothy Laboratories Ltd., was required to be in possession of certain documents, as prescribed by law. Each of such documents was in possession of the driver in question. Therefore, the goods were duly accounted for. Despite that, the same were seized. The Tribunal, we are of the view, ought to have had held, having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, that the seizure was an illegal seizure and, accordingly, should have directed release of the goods without insisting for furnishing of any security. The only breach, if any, in the instant case, was non-submission of form 16 no sooner the truck entered the State of Uttarakhand. It is now well-settled in law that when the goods are accompanied by form 16 and other relevant documents, merely because form 16 has not been deposited, no opinion can be expressed that the goods are not traced to any bona fide dealer or it is doubtful if such goods are properly accounted for by the dealer in his accounts or registers or other documents maintained in the usual course of business.
(2.) That being the situation, we allow the revision application, set aside the seizure itself and, accordingly, direct release of the goods without insisting for furnishing any security.;
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