Jharkhand High Court: A Division Bench of H.C Mishra and Deepak Roshan JJ., dismissed the present writ application as it had no merits in it.

The writ petitioner firm has a business of fireworks and its truck was apprehended by the Investigating Bureau Revenue, Jamshedpur Division, at Jamshedpur, while transporting crackers from Shivkashi in Tamil Nadu to the petitioner’s firm at Ranchi and produced an expiry road permit. It further revealed the transaction was entered into between the petitioner’s firm and the selling dealer at Shivkashi in Tamil Nadu on 03-12-2012 whereas the road permit expired much prior to the date of transaction between the petitioner firm and the selling dealer. In the aforesaid background, the Assessing Authority, vide order dated 14-12-2012 imposed the penalty to the tune of Rs 8,98,258.20 equal to three times the tax on the value of goods, i.e., Rs 21,38,710. The order passed by the Assessing Authority was affirmed by the Appellate Authority in appeal, as well as by the Tribunal in revision. 

Aggrieved by the order, hence the instant petition.

Advocates Sumeet Gadodia and Ritesh Kumar Gupta for the writ petitioner vehemently argued that the impugned orders passed by the Revenue Authorities as well as the Tribunal cannot be sustained in the eyes of law because the goods were being carried with a road permit but due to unforeseen circumstance that the fire had broken out in the premises of the selling dealer, the road permit had expired in the meantime, and there was no intention to evade the tax, as all the goods were duly accounted for in the books of accounts. 

Counsel for the State,  Atanu Banerjee and Pooja Kumari opposed the prayer submitting that the case is fully covered by the decision in Economic Transport Organisation Ltd. v. State of Jharkhand, 2020 SCC Online Jhar 145, wherein also in a similar manner when the road permit had already expired, it was deemed to be a case of no road permit. 

The Court held that in the instant case the ground of unforeseen circumstance is of no help and there is no merit in the writ application.

In view of the above, the writ petition stands dismissed and disposed of. [Trade Friends v. State of Jharkhand, 2020 SCC OnLine Jhar 214, decided on 27-02-2020]

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