when a bonafide dispute as to classification had arisen, it is only
the jurisdictional assessing officer, namely, the third respondent
who could have ruled on the classification and that it was not open
to the Squad Officer to have done so.
In the present case, there is no dispute as to the goods that were actually transported. But then, according to the petitioner, they would qualify only as dried chick peas. But, according to the fourth respondent this would
have to be classified as roasted grams.
The process of detention of the goods cannot be resorted to when the dispute is bona fide, especially, concerning the exigibility of tax and, more particularly, the rate of tax.
It is not open to the squad officer to detain the goods beyond a reasonable period. The process can at best take a few hours. Of course, the person who is in-charge of transportation will have to necessarily cooperate with the squad officer for preparing the relevant papers. I hold that the final call will have to be taken only by the jurisdictional assessing officer.
BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE G.R.SWAMINATHAN
WP(MD)No.937 of 2019
WMP(MD)Nos.764 & 765 of 2019
M/s.Jeyyam Global Foods (P) Ltd.,
Omalur TK, Salem 636351,
Rep.by its Chief Finance Officer,
Union of India,
Through its Secretary (Revenue),
Ministry of Finance,
Department of Revenue,
Government of India,
North Block, New Delhi – 110 001
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