Thrissur: The GST (Goods and Service Tax) department levied a fine of Rs 18,96,000 on a lorry that deviated just seven kilometres from the right path on its way to Tamil Nadu from Pune. When the action taken by Tamil Nadu GST department was questioned in the Madras High Court, the fine was reduced to Rs 5000.
A two wheeler dealer from Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu approached the court. A lorry that was carrying 40 two wheelers from Pune to Tamil Nadu reached Sivakasi after the driver lost his way. The GST officials seized the lorry and its driver and directed to levy a fine of Rs 18,96,000.
The officers informed the court that the lorry driver did not cooperate during interrogation which is why the lorry was seized. But the court found out that the GST officers spoke only English and Tamil whereas the lorry driver Badrinath Bhandari, hailing from Maharashtra, knew only Marathi and Hindi which is why he could not respond.
The court also found that the lorry driver had lost his way. The goods were brought with proper documents and invoice and there was no attempt to evade tax. Following this, the court ordered to release the lorry and goods charging a fine of Rs 5,000. It also warned the GST officers not to misuse their authority.