In order to ensure that the suppliers do not evade payment of GST(“Tax”), Section 68 of the CGST/ respective state GST Act (“Act”) empowers the Government to prescribe documents to be carried along with the goods in transit. Rule 138A of the Central/State Goods and Services Tax Rules (“Rules”) stipulates invoice/bill of entry/delivery challan along with e-way bill as documents to accompany the goods. Noncompliance of the legal requirements of the law renders the goods/vehicle liable to detention/ confiscation as enumerated in the law. Bare reading of related provisions creates reasonable doubt in the mind of laymen that for the same breach and/or contravention of the provisions of the act, there are two types of penalties provided under section (“u/s”) 129 and 130 of the act. In one of landmark judgment of GST recently Hon’ble Gujarat High Court (“Court”) in the matter of Synergy Fertichem Private Limited vs State Of Gujarat had occasion to interpret the provisions of Sections 129 and 130 of the act. An attempt has been made in this blog to explain related provisions basis arguments raised by writ applicants, counsel appearing for government and judgment of the court.
Why too much discussion over section 129 and 130?
Following perplexing puzzles/proposition could be possible reasons for considerable interest of trade and industry in understanding provision of section 129 and 130 of act.
- Cursory reading of both these provisions generates some doubt as to whether both these sections are independent of each other? Is there any overlapping amongst two? Whether both these sections can be used interchangeably at the discretion of the authorities?
- Since both these section starts with non-obstante clause “notwithstanding anything contained in this act”, there needs to be determination as to which provisions would stand overridden by such non-obstante clause and which would not?
- Whether authorities can invoke the power to confiscate the goods and the conveyance u/s 130 of the GST act arbitrarily, without any application of mind?
- When goods are seized and the vehicle is detained whether straightway the provisions of Section 130 of the act can be invoked ie authorities can straightway confiscate goods/vehicles?
And many such issues….
Relevant provisions in summarized form:
To begin with for the benefit of readers relevant provisions are presented in capsule form as under:
Section 129 of the act deals with the detention/seizure of the goods/conveyance while in Transit. Section 129 begins with non-obstante clause and allows detention of goods and subsequent release thereof on payment of applicable tax and penalty equal to 100% of tax payable on such goods, if goods are moved in contravention of the provisions of the act and the rules made thereunder.
Section 130 of the act deals with confiscation of goods or conveyances and levy of tax, penalty and redemption fine thereon. The section also begins with non-obstante clause and states amongst other things that if any person contravenes any of the provisions of this act or the rules made thereunder “with intent to evade payment of tax”, then, all such goods or conveyances shall be liable to confiscation and the person shall be liable to penalty, apart from tax and fine, u/s 122.
The provisions of section 122 of the act envisage various offences for which penalty is leviable and in terms of section 122(2) of the act, the maximum penalty would be a sum of Rs.10,000/- or 10% of the tax due from such person, whichever is higher. In the case of willful mis-statement or suppression of facts to evade tax, such penalty would be equal to Rs.10,000/- or the tax due, whichever is higher.
Section 125 provides for levy of general penalty and the maximum penalty shall not exceed to Rs.25,000/-. Section 126 of the act sets out certain general disciplines relating to the imposition of penalties. The said section prohibits imposition of penalty for minor breaches of regulations or procedural requirements as defined in the explanation to the provision.
As per section 17(5)(i) of the act no input tax credit is admissible in respect of any tax paid in accordance with the provisions of section 74, 129 and 130 of the act.
While assessing the returns, if the assessing officer finds that the amount of tax has not been paid or short paid or erroneously refunded, or where the input tax credit has been wrongly availed or utilized for any reason, either with mala fide intention or without the same, as the case may be, the provisions of sections 73/74 of the act would be invoked. Further explanation 1 to section 74 reads as under:
For the purpose of section 73 and this section,-
(i) the expression “all proceedings in respect of the said notice” shall not include proceedings u/s 132;
(ii) where the notice under the same proceedings is issued to the main person liable to pay tax and some other persons, and such proceedings against the main person have been concluded u/s 73 or section 74, the proceedings against all the persons liable to pay penalty u/s 122, 125, 129 and 130 are deemed to be concluded.
Rule 140 provides for provisional release of goods on furnishing security along with bond of the value of goods. In case of perishable commodity since it would not be possible for the taxable person to give undertaking that he will produce the goods on demand, there is no concept of provisional release. Accordingly rule 141 provides for final release of perishable goods on payment of tax, interest and penalty amount or market value of the goods whichever is lower.
Detailed analysis of provision of section 129:
To grasp technical discussion on sections 129 and 130, lets us now dwell into provision of section 129.
Section 129(1) of the act provides for detention of goods being transported in contravention of the provisions of the act by issuing the detention order followed by the service of a show cause notice u/s 129(3) of the act. Further said provision requires release of the goods if the owner of the goods comes forward and makes payment of tax and penalty equal to 100% of the tax payable on such goods if the goods are taxable and in case of exempted gods on payment of an amount equal to 2% of the value of goods or Rs. 25,000 whichever is less. Even if the owner of the goods does not come forward to make payment of tax and penalty then section further provides for release of the goods on payment of tax and penalty equal to 50% of the value of the goods reduced by the tax amount paid thereon in case of taxable goods and in case of exempted goods on payment of an amount equal to 5% of the value of goods or Rs. 25,000 whichever is less.
Sub section (2) r.w. section 67 provides the goods can either be released provisionally on furnishing bond (GST-INS-04) and providing security as may be prescribed or the goods can be finally released on payment of tax, interest and penalty
Sub section (3) further provides that the proper officer, detaining or seizing the goods or conveyances, is obliged to issue a notice (GST-MOV-07), specifying the tax and penalty payable and, thereafter, pass an order(GST-MOV-06) for payment of such tax and penalty. Sub section (4) provides that no tax, interest or penalty shall be determined under sub-section (3) without giving the person concerned an opportunity of being heard. Sub section (5) provides that on payment of the amount, referred to in sub-section (1) of the proceedings in respect of the notice, specified in sub section (3) are deemed to be concluded. It is further provided in sub section (6) that where the person transporting the goods or the owner of the goods fails to pay the amount of tax and penalty as provided in sub-section (1) within 14 days of such detention or seizure, further proceedings shall be initiated in accordance with the provisions of section 130. However, even in case of failure to comply with sub section (6) of section 129 of the act, the confiscation would not be automatic but a notice will have to be issued, calling upon the owner of the goods to show-cause as to why the goods should not be confiscated.
Analysis of provision of section 130:
Having understood in detail provision of section 129, let’s run through provision of section 130 in similar depth.
Section 130 (1) of the act provides for specific situations or causes leading to the confiscation of goods/conveyances. There are 5(Five) precise causes for confiscation of goods and/ or conveyances specified in section 130 and they are:
- Supply or receive goods resulting in contravention of the act or tax rules made thereunder with the intent to evade tax
- Not accounting for goods on which liability of payment of tax arise
- Supply of goods liable to tax without applying for registration
- Contravention of any of the provisions of act or rules of tax made thereunder with intent to evade payment of tax
- Use of conveyance or any means of transport in contravention of provisions of the act / rules made thereunder for carriage of goods
In all the aforesaid eventualities, the goods or conveyance shall be liable for confiscation. However the conveyance shall not be confiscated where the owner of the conveyance proves that use of such conveyance is without the connivance of owner himself, his agent or person in charge of the conveyance. Further, the person shall be liable to pay penalty u/s 122 of the act.
In terms of sub section (2) if the goods or conveyance are liable to be confiscated under the provisions of this act, the proper officer shall give the owner of the goods an option to pay fine in lieu of confiscation. The amount of fine shall not exceed the market value of goods as reduced by the amount of tax payable thereon. However, at the same time, the aggregate of fine and penalty leviable shall not be less than the amount of penalty as leviable u/s 129(1). Where the conveyance is used for transportation of goods or passenger on hire, the owner of the conveyance shall be given an option to pay in lieu of confiscation of the conveyance a fine equal to amount of tax payable on the goods transported on his conveyance.
As per subsection (3) the amount of fine payable is in addition to any tax, penalty and other charges payable on confiscated goods or conveyance. Sub-section (4) thereof provides that order (GST-MOV-11) for confiscation of goods or conveyance or for imposition of penalty shall not be issued without giving the person an opportunity of being heard. In terms of sub section (5) the title of the confiscated goods or conveyance shall vest in the Government.
Sub section (6) lays down that the proper officer adjudging confiscation shall take and hold possession of the things confiscated on behalf of the Government and every officer of police shall assist in taking such hold and possession.
Subsection (7) provides that If the proper officer is satisfied that the confiscated goods/conveyance are not required for any proceedings under the act, then he shall after giving reasonable time not exceeding 3(Three) months to pay fine in lieu of confiscation, dispose the goods and deposit the sale proceeds with the Government.
Point of distinction between Sections 129 and 130 of the act:
Close scrutiny of sections 129 and 130 highlights various points of distinction as under:
- In case of detention of goods authorities can demand payment of applicable tax and penalty equal to 100% of the tax payable on goods u/s 129 of the act whereas in case of confiscation of goods authorities can demand payment of not only tax and penalty equal to 100% of the tax payable on goods but also redemption fine in lieu of confiscation not exceeding the value of goods less the tax chargeable thereon u/s 130 of the act.
- The authorities need not establish intention to evade payment of tax for detention of goods. If the goods are intercepted during transit and if the documents accompanying the goods are found to be defective or absent then the authorities can straightaway detain the goods u/s 129 of the act. For invocation of section 129 of the act all that is necessary is “contravention of the provisions of the act or the Rules”, whereas section 130 of the act prescribes specific circumstances for the purpose of invoking the provisions relating to confiscation, which are basically related to “intent to evade payment of tax”
- Section 129 can only be invoked when goods are in transit whereas section 130 can be invoked at any stage, much after the goods have reached their destination or even during assessment proceedings subject to fulfillment of prescribed conditions.
- While section 129 is applicable on person who transport/stores goods, section 130 primarily covers the owner.
- Section 129 of the act provides a simple method of determination of tax and penalty and ensuring quick release of goods/conveyance. Confiscation proceedings u/s 130 of the act require full-fledged adjudication after examination/cross-examination of evidences In terms of section 130, owner of goods is under threat of losing the goods in case of non-payment of tax, penalty and redemption file within the statutory time period, such threat per se is missing in section 129.
Specific Issues on sections 129 and 130 of the act
Having understood finer points of sections 129 and 130 let’s now move on to specific issues on both these sections which have been aptly replied by the court
Issue#1: Whether section 129 and 130 are independent of each other?
While replying this question court held that although, both the sections start with a non-obstante clause, yet, the harmonious reading of the two sections, keeping in mind the object and purpose behind the enactment thereof, would indicate that they are independent of each other. Section 130 of the act, which provides for confiscation of the goods or conveyance is not, in any manner, dependent or subject to section 129 of the act.
Issue#2: Whether section 129 and 130 are constitutionally valid?
In reply to this question, court has observed as under:
Although in the present case there was no serious challenge to the validity of the provisions of sections 129 and 130 of the act, yet it is a settled principle of law that the power to levy tax includes all the incidental powers to prevent the evasion of such tax. The power to seize and confiscate the goods in the event of evasion of tax and the power to levy penalty are meant to check tax evasion and is intended to operate as a deterrent against the tax-evaders and are, therefore, ancillary or incidental to the power to levy tax on the goods and thus, fall within the ambit and scope of the legislative powers.
Issue#3: What is the Implication of the phrase “with intent to evade payment of tax” in section 130 of the act?
Decoding term Intent and evade, court observed as under:
“When the statute talks about intent to evade payment of tax, the same could be co-related with the term “willful attempt“. For the purpose of evading tax, and that too, with the necessary intention, there is always a willful attempt. In other words, the attempt to evade should be “willful”. Court cautioned that the legislature has used the words “with intent to evade payment of tax” in section 130 of the act. When the law requires an intention to evade payment of duty, then it is not mere failure to pay duty. It must be something more. That is, the assessee must be aware that the duty was leviable and it must deliberately avoid paying it. The word “evade” in the context means defeating the provisions of law of paying duty. It is made more stringent by use of the word “intent”. In other words, the assessee must deliberately avoid the payment of duty which is payable in accordance with law.”
Issue#4: Whether element of mens rea ie “the culpable mental state” is present in section 130 of the act?
Referring to various judgements of various High courts and Supreme Court, it was observed as under:
Confiscation proceeding is a quasi-judicial proceeding and not a criminal proceeding. Ordinarily, proof beyond reasonable doubt and proof of mens rea are foreign to the scope of the confiscation proceeding. Mens rea is not an essential element for imposing penalty for breach of civil obligations or liabilities. Authorities need not establish or prove the necessary mens rea for the purpose of confiscation and penalty.
Issue#5: Whether presumption of culpable mental state is available to authorities when dealing with confiscation?
Court held that unless intention to evade tax is proved beyond a reasonable doubt, provisions of section 130 cannot be invoked. In terms of section 135 in any prosecution proceedings existence of culpable mental state is presumed however such presumption is not extended to confiscation proceedings, therefore presumption of culpable mental state is not available to authorities when dealing with section 130.
Issue # 6: Whether authorities can issue confiscation notice at the threshold, i.e., at the stage of detention and seizure itself?
Whether direct invocation of section 130 of the act renders section 129(6) of the act redundant?
Can there be confiscation without detention/seizure?
In reply to above similarly placed questions court took a view that the authorities concerned can invoke section 130 of the act at the threshold, i.e., at the stage of detention and seizure/section 129 itself. For the purpose of issuing a notice of confiscation u/s 130 of the act at the threshold the case has to be of such a nature that on the face of the entire transaction, the authority concerned is convinced that the contravention was with a definite intent to evade payment of tax. Merely on suspicion, the authorities may not be justified in invoking section 130 of the act straightway. If the authorities are of the view that the case is one of invoking section 130 of the act at the very threshold, then they need to record their reasons for such belief in writing, and such reasons recorded in writing should, thereafter, be looked into by the superior authority so that the superior authority can take an appropriate decision whether the case is one of straightway invoking section 130 of the act. Any opinion of the authority to be formed is not subject to objective test. The language of section 130 of the act leaves no room for the relevance of an official examination as to the sufficiency of the ground on which the authority may act or proceed for the purpose of confiscation at the very threshold. But, at the same time, there must be material based on which alone the authority could form its opinion in good faith that it has become necessary to call upon the owner of the goods as well as the owner of the conveyance to show-cause as to why the goods and the conveyance should not be confiscated u/s 130 of the act. The notice for the purpose of confiscation must disclose the materials, upon which, the belief of intent to evade payment of tax is formed.
Issue#7: Whether in case of confiscation proper officer is supposed to levy maximum Redemption fine as provided in section 130(2)?
Court observed that sub-section (2) of section 130 of the act provides in case of confiscation of any goods or conveyance the adjucating officer shall give to the owner of the goods an option to pay in lieu of confiscation. Such fine is called “Redemption fine”. Further such fine leviable shall not exceed the market value of the goods, less the tax chargeable thereon and at the same time, the aggregate of such fine and penalty leviable will not be less than the amount of penalty leviable under sub-section (1) of section 129.
Court observed that the fine provided under the first proviso to sub-section (2) of section 130 of the act is the maximum fine leviable. Consequently, the proper officer adjudging the case is required to examine the seriousness of the contravention and impose fine accordingly. It is not as if in every case the proper officer should levy the maximum fine. The order of confiscation should, therefore, reflect due application of mind on the part of the proper officer to the quantum of fine imposed by him.
Issue#8: Whether after determining the amount of tax and penalty u/s 129 of the act and release of the goods and vehicle, the authorities may be justified in issuing notice u/s 130 of the act for the purpose of initiating confiscation proceedings?
If a contravention is penalized u/s 129, whether the same contravention can once again be penalized u/s 130?
Whether payment of tax and penalty u/s 129 of act precludes initiation of proceedings u/s 130 of the act?
When goods are once released upon payment of tax and penalty u/s 129 of the act, then whether authority can subsequently proceed for section 130 and levy redemption fine?
In reply to similarly placed aforesaid questions court ruled that at the stage of section 129 of the act (ie at detention stage), there may not be sufficient evidence for the purpose of coming to the conclusion that the case is one where the owner of the goods or the driver of the vehicle had the intention to evade payment of tax. A further inquiry in this regard may reveal something incriminating against the owner of the goods then it would be permissible for authorities to initiate the confiscation proceedings u/s 130 of the act.
After considering the various contentions and judgments relied upon, court also came to conclusion that even in the absence of the physical availability of the goods or the conveyance, the authority can proceed to pass an order of confiscation and also pass an order of redemption fine in lieu of the confiscation. In other words, even if the goods or the conveyance has been released u/s 129 of the act and, later, confiscation proceedings are initiated, then in deserving cases even in the absence of the goods or the conveyance, the order for payment of redemption fine in lieu of confiscation can be passed.
Issue#9: Whether section 130 of the act can be invoked only if the person, transporting any goods, or the owner of the goods, fails to pay the amount of tax and penalty as provided in subsection (1) of section 129 within 14 days of detention or seizure and not otherwise?
In reply to this question, Court observed as under:
Sections 129 and 130 of the act are mutually exclusive and independent of each other. In our opinion, section 130 of the act is not dependent on section 129(6) of the act. To arrive at this view court took cognizance of fact that if the amount of tax and penalty is determined by the authority concerned u/s 129 of the act for the purpose of release of the goods and the conveyance, and such amount is, ultimately, not deposited, then the obvious consequence of the same would be forfeiture of the goods and the vehicle with the Government. The authorities are not expected to keep the goods or the vehicle in their possession for an indefinite period of time.
Court has rejected the view that confiscation is permissible only in the event of failure to comply with section 129(6) of the act ie nonpayment of tax and penalty within 14 days.
Issue#10: Whether authority intercepting goods in transit can go into the issue of valuation of goods and whether goods are liable to be detained on the ground that the tax is paid at lower rate even if accompanying documents were found to be in order and the description of the goods also accorded with the relevant declaration?
Relying on judgments of various courts, court came to conclusion that the goods are not liable to be detained simply on the ground that the tax is paid at lower rate on such goods. In such circumstances, the Inspecting Authority is expected to alert the Assessing Authority to initiate appropriate proceedings for assessment. 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 that tax.
Issue#11: Whether court has power to order release of the vehicles or goods, during the pendency of the confiscation proceeding?
Court rightly observed that no statutory bar can affect the power of the High Court under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, but such power is not to be exercised casually and without coming to the conclusion that non- exercise of such power would lead to positive injustice. An order of release of goods or conveyance may be passed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, even pending the confiscation proceedings, but only when it is established before the court that the procedure prescribed in the law has been completely flouted and that there is complete violation of the procedure prescribed for confiscation, viz., notice to the offender before confiscation, allowing him opportunity of giving written representation and affording hearing on the issue to him and that such injustice cannot be remedied without the exercise of the extraordinary power.
Issue#12: Whether reference to sections 73 and 74 of the act is necessary for interpreting provisions of sections 129 and 130 of the act?
The provisions of sections 73 and 74 respectively of the act deal with the ‘demands and recovery’ to be made by the assessing officer based upon the assessment, whereas the provisions of section 129 of the act deal with the ‘detention/ seizure’ and section 130 of the act deal with confiscation of goods/conveyance. Court observed that sections 73/74 and sections 129/130 operate in different spheres and therefore reference to sections 73 and 74 of the act is not warranted for interpreting sections 129 and 130 of the act, more particularly, when they all are independent of each other. Court held that sections 129 and 130 of the act have non-obstante clauses, whereby they can be operated upon in spite of sections 73 and 74 of the act.
Issue#13: Whether explanation 1 to section 74 of the act suggest a view that confiscation cannot be invoked by the authorities for the transaction with respect to which the assessee has already paid the amount of tax and penalty in terms of section 129 of the Act?
Court took a view that the Explanation 1 to section 74 neither provides that the confiscation proceedings against the person concerned would be deemed to be concluded nor that the confiscation proceedings against “all other persons” would be deemed to be concluded. Said explanation merely stipulates that the proceedings related to the “penalty” under the provisions of sections 122, 125, 129 and 130 of the Act would be deemed to be concluded. Court has reiterated its view that section 130 of the Act can be invoked even in cases where the amount of tax and penalty is paid in terms of the provisions of section 129 of the Act if circumstance of case is falling in any of the 5(Five) eventualities prescribed in section 130(1) of the Act.
Issue#14: Whether provision of section 129 and 130 are sub set of section 122?
Court validly observed that said sections 129 and 130 of the Act can be invoked for the eventualities which are not mentioned in section 122 of the Act and hence, the same cannot be said to be related to the provisions of section 122 of the Act, except for quantification of the amount of penalty. Further court did not agree with the argument that section 122 of the Act are general in nature and the provisions of sections 129 and 130 are specific in nature and hence, non-obstante clauses of the said sections would override the provisions of section 122 of the Act, in as much as provisions of sections 129 and 130 of the Act themselves refer to the provisions of section 122 of the Act, so as to decide/compute the amount of penalty to be imposed upon the taxable person. Thus, once there is no conflict between the provisions of section 122 of the Act on one hand and sections 129 and 130 of the Act on the other, there arises no question of invocation of ‘non-obstante’ clause in such a situation.
Issue#15: Whether authorities can invoke the power to confiscate the goods and the conveyance u/s 130 of the GST Act arbitrarily and without any application of mind?
Court replied this question in negative. Court also accepted the fact that it is practically impossible to envisage various types of contravention of the provisions of the act or rules for the purpose of detention and seizure of the goods and conveyances in transit. The contravention could be trivial or it may be quite serious sufficient enough to justify the detention and seizure
Court also suggested that in all cases of detention and seizure of goods and conveyance, the authorities should not without application of mind and without any justifiable grounds straightway invoke section 130 of the Act. As once such a notice u/s 130 of the Act is issued right at the time of detention and seizure, then the goods/conveyance can’t be released even if the owner of the goods is ready and willing to pay the tax and the penalty that may be determined u/s 129 of the act. Such approach leads to unnecessary detention of the goods and the conveyance for an indefinite period of time.
Court has also expressed displeasure on parrot like chantation “as the goods were being transported without any valid documents, it is presumed that the goods were being transported for the purposes of evading the tax” as the reason for issuing notice u/s 130. Further court was also against issuance of notice of confiscation on the presumption of contravention of the provisions of the Act or the rules with an intent to evade payment of tax.
Court has suggested certain test to be followed by authorities at the time of detention and seizure of goods or conveyance. The first thing the authorities need to look into closely is the nature of the contravention of the provisions of the Act or the Rules. The second step in the process for the authorities to examine closely is whether such contravention of the provisions of the Act or the rules was with an intent to evade the payment of tax without presuming culpable mental state.
All cases of contravention of the provisions of the Act or the Rules, by itself, may not attract the consequences of such goods or the conveyance confiscated u/s 130 of the Act. To explain this point court has given one example. Goods were being transported without any valid documents, however driver of the vehicle is in a position to produce all the relevant documents to the satisfaction of the authority concerned as regards payment of tax etc., but unfortunately, he is not able to produce the e-way bill, which is also one of the important documents so far as compliance of act is concerned. If the authenticity of the accompanying delivery challan/Invoice etc is not doubted then in such a situation, it would be too much for the authorities to straightway jump to the conclusion that the case is of intent to evade payment of tax.
Court also referred to statutory format provided for passing an order u/s 130 of the act (MOV-11) and remarked that Paragraph 5 of said form (reason for confiscating the goods and Conveyance and Paragraph 6 (exercise of power of confiscating the goods and conveyance, for the reasons set out in paragraph 5) is statutory requirement and non-speaking order bereft of any reasons whatsoever can’t be accepted as valid confiscation order. Further court observed that while making an order of confiscation u/s 130 of the Act, the adjucating officer it will have to state as to which clause of sub-section (1) of section 130 of the Act is attracted in the facts and circumstances of the said case. Further adjudicating officer is also required to record a specific finding as to why he has come to the conclusion that the contravention is with the intent to evade payment of tax. In short action of confiscation must be held in good faith and should not be a mere pretense.
Parting remark of Hon’ble Mr. Justice A. C. Rao
Judgement ends with remark by Ho’ble Mr. Justice A.C. Rao, reproduced hereunder:
“ I am of the view that the Legislature should, once again, look into both the provisions, i.e, sections 129 and 130 of the Act and amend the sections accordingly so as to remove certain inconsistencies in the two provisions. Let this aspect be looked into by the State Government in accordance with law.”
Court in aforesaid landmark judgment has laid down general guidelines with regard to the applicability of sections 129 and 130 of the act and procedures to be followed by adjudicating authorities in addition to replying many perplexing questions. These guidelines will surely go long way in resolving confiscation and detention disputes. Plain reading of section 73, 74, 129 and 130 of the act gives impression that as compared to section 74 which also deals with instance of fraud etc., provisions of sections 129 and 130 are harsher and therefore authorities should adopt a practical approach to resolve such disputes rather than enter into a long drawn litigation. Lawmakers are expected to read between the lines parting remark of Hon’ble Mr. Justice A. C. Rao and make appropriate changes to avoid any allegation of harassment of tax payers.