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By: Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal
March 10, 2018
  • Contents

Meaning of Document

The term ‘document’ has been defined in section 2(41) of the CGST Act, 2017 to include:

  • Written or printed
  • Record of any sort and
  • Electronic record as defined in the Information Technology Act, 2000

Meaning of Presumption

The term ‘presumption’ has not been defined under the GST Act. The dictionary meaning of this term is

  • A conclusion made as to the existence or non existence of a fact
  • That must be drawn from other evidence
  • That is admitted and proven to be true.

Thus, presumption can be understood as an inference of a fact drawn from another known fact.

In certain cases, the documents produced or seized from a person can be denied of its truth, in case they are brought in a Court of law as evidence.

As provided in section 144 of the CGST Act, 2017 where any document-

(a)   is produced by any person under the Act or any other law, or

(b)  seized from the control or custody of any person under the Act or any other law, or

(c)   received from any place outside India, in the course of any proceedings under the Act or any other law,

and such document is tendered by the prosecution in Court as evidence against such person or any other person jointly tried with such person, the court shall-

(a)   unless the contrary is proved by such person, presume-

(i)   The truth of the contents of such documents,

(ii)  Signatures and attestation on such documents made by such person.

(b)  Admit the documents as evidence whether it is duly stamped or not, if such document is otherwise admissible

It may be noted that this provision is rule of evidence and rebuttable presumption which can be proved by the accused that it is not genuine and should not be accepted as evidence.

Admissibility of Micro Films, Facsimile Copies of Documents and Computer Printouts as Documents and as Evidence

The term micro films has not been defined under the CGST Act. As per the free dictionary, it means a film on which printed materials are photographed at greatly reduced size for ease of storage.

The phrase 'Facsimile Copies of Documents' has not been defined under the CGST Act, as per free dictionary, it means an exact copy of reproduction.

The term Computer printout has not been defined under the CGST Act, its ordinary meaning is an output of computer produced through a device called printer.

Circumstances in which micro films, facsimile copies of documents and computer printouts can be admitted as evidence

As provided in section 145 of the CGST Act, 2017 following shall be deemed to be a document for the purposes of this Act and shall be admissible in any proceedings as evidence, without further proof:

(a)   A microfilm of a document or the reproduction of the image or images embodied in such micro film (whether enlarged or not), or

(b)  Facsimile copy of a document or,

(c)   Statement contained in a document and included in a printed material produced by a computer produced by a computer subject to prescribed conditions or

(d)  Any information stored electronically on a device or a media, including any hard copies made of such information

Certificate to be considered as evidence for proceedings under GST

In any proceeding where it is desired to give a statement in evidence as provided in section 145(2) of the CGST Act, a certificate doing any of the following things shall be sufficient for a matter to be stated to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person stating it.

(a)   Identifying the document containing the statement and describing the manner in which it was produced

(b)  Giving particulars of any device involved in production of that document as may be sufficient to show that the document was produced by a computer.


By: Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal - March 10, 2018



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