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Summons, Inspections, Search, Seizure & Arrest Provisions Under GST

CGST ACT, 2017- Section 67 to 71 explains the circumstances where in search, seizure and arrest under GST can be done.

Power to Summons and Produce Evidence and Produce Documents Under Section 70

  1. The proper officer under this Act shall have power to summon any person whose attendance he/she considers essential either to give evidence or to produce a document or any other thing in any inquiry in the same manner, as provided in the case of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908- provisions.
  2. Every such inquiry referred to in sub-section (1) shall be deemed to be a “judicial proceedings” within the meaning of Indian Penal Code- section 193 and section 228.

Inspection and Search and Seizure Under Section -67

  1. Where taxable person concealed supply of goods / service or both or stock of goods in hand or claim input tax credit in excess in violation of the provision of this act.
  2. Where any person engages in the business of transport or goods or owner of godown of warehouse which has escaped assessment or evasion of tax.

Under this situation officer not below the rank of joint commissioner or officer authorize by him/her to do inspection of premises.

  1. Where the authorized officer feels that any goods liable to be impounded, or documents or books or things may seize according to the requirement. Where in it is not possible to seize goods, he/she may serve notice on owner not to remove the goods till further order. Such order may be passed on INS-03.
  2. Where any goods, books or document referred to 2. Above shall be returned by him/her within 30 days.
  3. Under sub-section (2), the authorized officer will have the power to seal /break the door to open of any premises or break any almirah to open, electronic devices receptacle in which any accounts, registers, goods or documents of the suspected person are to be hidden, where access to such premises is denied.
  4. The person to whose custody any documents are seized shall be entitled to take extracts or copy of the same from the officer. Except where taking copies may be prejudicially to the investigation.
  5. Goods so seized will be released on payment of Bond or security equivalent on taxes, interests and penalty. Such order shall be passed on INS -04
  6. Goods seized under sub clause -2 shall be return to person after six months if no notice of the same is issued. However on sufficient cause that may be exceeded to another 06 months.
  7. However if the goods is of perishable or hazardous nature, the proper officer may also dispose of the goods. Such order may be placed on INS -05.
  8. In any event of the situation mentioned in clause -8, the proper officer will prepared inventory of the goods so sold.
  9. The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, relating to search and seizure, shall, so far as may be, apply to search and seizure under this section subject to the modification that section 165- sub-section (5)  of the said Code will have effect as if for the word “Magistrate”, wherever it occurs, the word “Commissioner” were substituted Inspection of goods in movements [Section 68 ]

Government may hold any person in charge of any conveyance of goods valuing as be prescribed along with the documents.

Documents need to be verified/ validated in such manner as prescribed.

Where any conveyance referred to in sub-section (1) is ambushed by the proper officer at any place, he /she may require the person in charge of the said conveyance to produce the documents stipulated under the said sub-section & devices for verification, and the said person shall be liable to produce the documents & devices and also allow the goods inspection.

Power to Arrest Under Section -69

  1. Where the commissioner is convinced that the person has committed any offence under section 132[1] and consider it is a punishable offence, he/she may arrest the person.
  2. Where the person so arrested under clause no .I for an offence committed under section 132[5] he/she shall be produced before Magistrate within 24 hours.
  3. Subject to provision of civil court 1973
  4. Under section 132- sub-section (4), he/she shall be admitted to bail or in default of bail, forwarded to the custody of the Magistrate.
  5. In the case of a bailable and non-cognizable offence, the Assistant Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner shall, for the purpose of releasing an arrested person on bail or other reason, have the same powers and be subject to the same provisions as an officer-in-charge of a police station.