HC pulls up punjab for harassing transporters

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Old 08-May-2011
HC pulls up punjab for harassing transporters

Chandigarh May 8:

Coming down heavily on the State of Punjab for abusing power to detain vehicles at tax checkposts, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has called for a more responsible approach.

Its Division Bench has said the power is being abused “frequently” and has asked the head of the department concerned to prevent the same. A cost of Rs 50,000 has also been imposed on the detaining authority. The stringent observations by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal came on a bunch of three petitions by Rohit Cargo Movers Private Limited.

The Bench observed: “We find that abuse is taking place frequently without any let or hindrance and the head of the department concerned has failed to check the abuse which calls for interference by this court…. “The detaining authority is expected to act responsibly and pass appropriate orders to the extent required for checking evasion of tax. This has not been done….

“The head of the department must ensure that the power to detain vehicles and goods at the checkpost is not abused... “The case of the petitioner is that it is a transporter and was carrying goods with relevant documents when the vehicle was detained at the checkpost. “The reason for detention was that the goods to be transported appeared to the detaining authority to be in excess of the quantity mentioned in the documents, which implied that there was attempt at evasion of tax”.

The Bench asserted: “We are of the view the case is an instance of abuse of authority at the check post. No basis for suspicion of under-valuation has been shown”. Taking on record an undertaking by counsel for the petitioners to furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 50,000 to take care of the alleged tax evasion, the Bench concluded: “The detaining authority will pay costs quantified at Rs 50,000 in all the three cases together to be deposited with the High Court Legal Aid Committee within a month.

“The amount may be recovered from the person who is responsible for acting illegally. The state will also be at liberty to initiate disciplinary proceedings against persons responsible for the misconduct”.

Old 08-May-2011
Re: HC pulls up punjab for harassing transporters

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