Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Harnaresh Singh Gill, J., rejected the bail application filed by the applicant-accused in connection with the FIR registered for offence punishable under Sections 22 and 25 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS).

The facts, in brevity, are that the intoxicant tablets were recovered from the car in which the applicant was sitting which led to the filing of the above stated FIR.

Counsel for the applicant, Manpreet Ghuman has contended that the recovery has been effectuated in the present case and the applicant has been languishing in police custody for the past seventeen months. Also, the challan has been presented along with the filing of the charges hence the purpose to keep the applicant behind bars has turned redundant.

Counsel for the respondent, M.S. Nagra vehemently objected to the bail application stating that the intoxicant tablets that were recovered in the present matter were of commercial quantity hence, it is not fit that the applicant be granted bail.

Upon careful perusal of the facts, circumstances and arguments advanced the Court observed that an accused does not get entitled to bail merely because of the fact that a challan has been presented or charges have been framed. It’s an inadequate ground especially in the present case where the amount of intoxicant tablets recovered from the applicant falls under the category of commercial quantity. Section 37 of the NDPS Act has specifically barred the grant of bail to an accused in case of a commercial quantity being involved.

In view of the above, Court rejected and dismissed the application for lack of merit. [Prem Singh v. State of Punjab, 2020 SCC OnLine P&H 1341, decided on 26-08-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: A.K. Jayasankaran Nambiar, J. allowed the writ petition and quashed the series of detention notices issued against the petitioner.

The petitioner challenged a series of notices of detention, whereby a consignment of goods transported at the instance of the petitioner was detained by the respondent on the allegation that there was a discrepancy in the e-way bill that accompanied the transportation of the goods. The Court on reviewing the series of notices inferred that the reason for the detention was that, while the consignment was supported by an invoice which contained the details of the goods transported as also the tax paid in respect of the goods, there was no mention of the tax amounts separately in the e-way bill that accompanied the goods. The Court further inferred that the respondents, therefore, detained the goods on the ground that there was no valid e-way bill supporting the transportation in question.

Meera Menon and Harisankar Menon, counsel on behalf of the petitioner argued that the transportation was covered both by a tax invoice, as also an e-way bill in FORM GST EWB-01, and when both the documents are perused together, it was amply clear that the transportation was covered by documents that clearly indicated the fact of payment of tax on the goods that were being transported. Thus, the detention under Section 129 was unfounded and baseless.

Dr Tushara James, counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent contended that as per Section 33 of the GST Act, there is an obligation on every person, who makes supply for consideration and who is liable to pay tax for such supply, to prominently indicate in all documents relating to assessment, tax invoice and other like documents, the amount of tax which shall form part of the price at which such supply is made. Referring to the provisions of Section 129, the respondent further contended that the goods in question were being transported under cover of documents that had been raised in contravention of the provisions of Section 33. It was further argued that, the e-way bill being a document akin to a tax invoice, in relation to an assessment to tax, and not having carried the details regarding the tax amount, the transportation itself had to be viewed as in contravention of the Act and Rules for the purposes of Section 129.

As per the statutory provisions applicable to the instant case, a person transporting goods is obliged to carry only the documents enumerated in Rule 138(A) of GST Rules, during the course of transportation. The said documents are

  • the invoice or bill of supply or delivery challan, as the case may be and
  • the copy of e-way bill in physical form or e-way bill number in electronic form etc.

The Court pointed out that if a prescribed form under the GST Act does not contain a field for entering the details of the tax payable in the e-way bill, then the non-mentioning of the tax amount cannot be seen as an act in contravention of the GST Rules.

Nevertheless, the Court held that the e-way bill has to be in FORM GST EWB-01, and in that format, there is no field wherein the transporter is required to indicate the tax amount payable in respect of the goods transported and that the transpiration was covered by a valid tax invoice, which clearly showed the tax collected in respect of the goods and an e-way bill in the prescribed format.[M.S Steel and Pipes v. Asst. State Tax Officer, 2020 SCC OnLine Ker 3214, decided on 12-08-2020]

Case BriefsDistrict Court

Sessions Court, Dwarka: Additional Sessions Judge Sonu Agnihotri allowed an appeal filed by a person convicted for the offence of drunk driving and modified the order sentencing him to simple imprisonment, for the said offence.

Appellant, herein, was found under the influence of liquor when his vehicle was stopped. The quantity of liquor consumed by him was found to be 550mg/100ml, which was much higher than the permissible limit of 30mg/100ml. Learned Metropolitan Magistrate, Dwarka Court sentenced him to simple imprisonment for two days and imposed a fine of Rs 2000 for the said offence punishable under Sections 138, 177 and 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Aggrieved by the said order, the present appeal was filed under Section 375 (b) of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

The appellant stated that he was challaned while he was returning from his office after attending a party wherein there was a strict rule that one person could take liquor only up to the limit of 60ml. He stated that he had consumed liquor only to the extent of 60 ml, but traffic police officials intentionally challaned him for consuming liquor to the extent of 550ml. He also stated that there might have been some defect in the machine which was used to check his alcohol quantity as on first three to four occasions, the alcoholic meter showed the quantity of 0ml, but suddenly on the fifth occasion, meter showed quantity of 550ml. As it was his first offence and he was the sole bread earner of his family, he prayed to set aside the order of simple imprisonment.

The Court, at the outset, noted that that appellant-convict had voluntarily pleaded guilty for offences under Sections 138, 177 and 185 of MV Act, and under Section 375(b) CrPC, an appeal does not lie when accused has pleaded guilty and been convicted on such plea; except to the extent or legality of the sentence. Thus, appellant could only challenge the extent or legality of his sentence in terms of section 375(b) CrPC.

It was noted that the appellant was not a previous convict and was doing a private job in a Multinational Company. He was the sole bread earner of his family, and in case he was sent to jail, he might lose his job. It was opined that being a first time offender, he deserved to be dealt with leniently but at the same time balance had to be maintained keeping in view right of others to have safe passage on the road

Thus, the appeal filed by the appellant was allowed and the impugned order was modified to the extent that appellant instead of being sent to simple imprisonment for two days was asked to serve in an old age home for two weeks from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also, his driving licence was suspended for a period of six months.

The appeal filed by the appellant was disposed of in the above terms.[Manish Kumar v. State (NCT of Delhi), Criminal Appeal No. 20 of 2019, decided on 31-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Chhattisgarh High Court: The petition filed by the National Insurance Co. seeking to evade its liability to indemnify the petitioner, was dismissed by a Single Judge Bench comprising of Sanjay Agrawal, J.

Undisputed facts of the case were that the claimant’s motorcycle was dashed vehemently by the jeep of the respondents which was being driven in a rash and negligent manner. The claimant claimed compensation under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 subsequent to which the Claims Tribunal fastened liability upon the petitioner Insurance Co. Being aggrieved, the Insurance Company filed the instant petition.

The High Court noted that the main contention raised by the Insurance Company was that at the concerned time, the premium was not paid to the Company and the Development Officer who collected the premium amount was not authorized for the same. However, such contention was rejected by the Court. It was held that on a bare perusal of the record, it was evident that at the relevant time, the premium had already been collected by the petitioner by issuing a ‘Deposit Challan’ in its printed form. Therefore the Insurance Company could not run away from its liability to pay the assured. In accordance, the petition was dismissed. [National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Jitendra Kumar Jain, 2018 SCC OnLine Chh 487, dated 24-4-2018]