Vehicle along with the goods entered the Durgapur industrial belt within the validity of the e-way bill. The vehicle was intercepted on 9th May, 2022
at 9:35 AM at Durgapur and the vehicle was detained along with the goods on the ground that the e-way bill had expired on 8th May, 2022 at 11:59
AM. The explanation given by the appellant was that it was a Sunday and the consignee had given instructions to unload the goods at a different
location within the same area and in this regard the appellant had produced e-mail sent by the consignee stating that they had given instructions
subsequently to unload the goods at a different location within the area to which the goods were sent as per the e-way bill.
The High Court observed that there was no intention on the part of the appellant to evade payment of tax. In any event, in terms of rule 138 of the
WBGST Rules, if an e-way bill had expired, the transporter had 08 hours time to seek for extension of the time stipulated in the e-way bill. If that
allowance is given, at the time when the vehicle along with the goods were intercepted, it was delayed by about 01 hour and 35 minutes. The particular
details given in e-way bill will show that area Durgapur has also been mentioned. It is not disputed that vehicle was within the Durgapur industrial belt
though not at Panagarh. Thus, considering the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and in the absence of any material produced
by the revenue to doubt the bona fides of the appellant, High Court held that penalty should not have been imposed in this case.
The revenue relied upon the judgement of Hon'ble Supreme Court in Chairman, SEBI v. Shriram Mutual Fund & Anr. reported at  5 SCC 361
for the proposition that the intention of the authority committing such violation becomes immaterial when there is a contravention of the statutory
The High Court observed that third proviso to Rule 138(10) states that the validity of e-way bill may be extended within 8 hours from the time of its
expiry. Thus, the rules give certain latitude and therefore, the conduct of the transporter was required to be examined bearing in mind that the rule
itself provides for extension of the validity period of the e-way bill and the transporter has been given a latitude of 8 hours to seek for such extension.
If that benefit was to be granted to the appellant, then the delay would be about 1 hour and 35 minutes. There is no other allegation against the
appellant. Therefore, considering the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, the High Court held that this was not a case, where
penalty that too 200% penalty should have been imposed.