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GUIDELINES FOR LAUNCHING OF PROSECUTION UNDER THE CENTRAL GOODS & SERVICES TAX ACT, 2017 - GST - INSTRUCTION No. 04/2022-23 [GST – Investigation]

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..... e standard of proof required in a criminal prosecution is higher than adjudication proceeding as the case has to be established beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, even cases where demand is confirmed in adjudication proceedings, evidence collected should be weighed so as to likely meet the above criteria for recommending prosecution. Decision should be taken on case-tocase basis considering various factors, such as, nature and gravity of offence, quantum of tax evaded, or ITC wrongly availed, or refund wrongly taken and the nature as well as quality of evidence collected. 3.2. Prosecution should not be filed merely because a demand has been confirmed in the adjudication proceedings. Prosecution should not be launched in cases of technical nature, or where additional claim of tax is based on a difference of opinion regarding interpretation of law. Further, the evidence collected should be adequate to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the person had guilty mind, knowledge of the offence, or had fraudulent intention or in any manner possessed mens-rea for committing the offence. It follows, therefore, that in the case of public limited companies, prosecution should not be launch .....

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GUIDELINES FOR LAUNCHING OF PROSECUTION UNDER THE CENTRAL GOODS & SERVICES TAX ACT, 2017 - GST

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..... shall not be applicable: (i) Habitual evaders: Prosecution can be launched in the case of a company/taxpayer habitually involved in tax evasion or misusing Input Tax Credit (ITC) facility or fraudulently obtained refund. A company/taxpayer would be treated as habitual evader, if it has been involved in two or more cases of confirmed demand (at the first adjudication level or above) of tax evasion/fraudulent refund or misuse of ITC involving fraud, suppression of facts etc. in past two years such that the total tax evaded and/or total ITC misused and/or fraudulently obtained refund exceeds Five Hundred Lakh rupees. DIGIT database may be used to identify such habitual evaders. (ii) Arrest Cases: Cases where during the course of investigation, arrests have been made under section 69 of the CGST Act. 6. Authority to sanction prosecution: 6.1 The prosecution complaint for prosecuting a person should be filed only after obtaining the sanction of the Pr. Commissioner/Commissioner of CGST in terms of sub-section (6) of section 132 of CGST Act, 2017. 6.2 In respect of cases investigated by DGGI, the prosecution complaint for prosecuting a person should be filed only after obtaining the san .....

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GUIDELINES FOR LAUNCHING OF PROSECUTION UNDER THE CENTRAL GOODS & SERVICES TAX ACT, 2017 - GST

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..... er officer shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly. Thus, in the case of Companies, both the legal person as well as natural person are liable for prosecution under section 132 of the CGST Act. Similarly, under sub-section (3) of section 137, the provisions have been made for partnership firm or a Limited Liability Partnership or a Hindu Undivided Family or a Trust. 7.2.2 Where it is deemed fit to launch prosecution before adjudication of the case, the Additional/Joint Commissioner or Additional/Joint Director, DGGI, as the case may be, supervising the investigation, shall record the reason for the same and forward the proposal to the sanctioning authority. The decision of the sanctioning authority shall be informed to the concerned adjudicating authority so that there is no need for him to examine the case again from the perspective of prosecution. 7.2.3 In all cases (other than those mentioned at para 7.2.2 and arrests where prosecution complaint has already been filed before adjudication), the adjudicating authority should invariably indicate at the time of passing the order itself whether it considers the .....

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GUIDELINES FOR LAUNCHING OF PROSECUTION UNDER THE CENTRAL GOODS & SERVICES TAX ACT, 2017 - GST

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..... ner/ Commissioner or Pr. Additional Director General/ Additional Director General, by the officer authorised for filing of the complaint. 7.2.9 In the cases investigated by DGGI, except for cases pertaining to single/multiple taxpayer(s) under Central Tax administration in one Commissionerate where arrests have not been made and the prosecution is not proposed prior to issuance of show cause notice, prosecution complaints shall be filed and followed up by DGGI. In other cases, the complaint shall be filed by the officer at level of Superintendent of the jurisdictional Commissionerate, authorized by Pr. Commissioner/ Commissioner of CGST. However, in all cases investigated by DGGI, the prosecution shall continue to be sanctioned by appropriate officer of DGGI. 8. Appeal against Court order in case of inadequate punishment/acquittal: 8.1 The Prosecution Cell in the Commissionerate shall examine the judgment of the Court and submit their recommendations to the Pr. Commissioner/ Commissioner. Where Pr. Commissioner/ Commissioner is of the view that the accused person has been let off with lighter punishment than what is envisaged in the Act or has been acquitted despite the evidence be .....

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GUIDELINES FOR LAUNCHING OF PROSECUTION UNDER THE CENTRAL GOODS & SERVICES TAX ACT, 2017 - GST

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..... ; The said ratio is equally applicable to GST Law. Therefore, where it is found on merit that there is no contravention of the provisions of the Act in the adjudication proceedings and such order has attained finality, Pr. Commissioner/ Commissioner or Pr. Additional Director General/ Additional Director General after taking approval of Pr. Chief Commissioner/ Chief Commissioner or Pr. Director General/ Director General, as the case may be, would ensure filing of an application through Public Prosecutor in the court to allow withdrawal of prosecution in accordance with law. The withdrawal can only be affected with the approval of the court. 10. General guidelines: 10.1 It has been reported that delay in the Court proceedings is often due to non-availability of the records required to be produced before the Court or due to delay in drafting of the complaint, listing of the exhibits etc. It shall be the responsibility of the officer who has been authorized to file complaint, to take charge of all documents, statements and other exhibits that would be required to be produced before a Court. The list of exhibits etc. should be finalized in consultation with the Public Prosecutor at the .....

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..... an Additional/ Joint Director in each zonal unit and DGGI (Hqrs) shall supervise the prosecution related work and take stock of the pending prosecution cases. For keeping a track of prosecution cases, entries of all prosecution cases should promptly be made in DIGIT/ Investigation Module, within 48 hours of sanction of prosecution and the entries must be updated from time to time. Additional/ Joint Commissioner or Additional/ Joint Director, in-charge of supervising prosecution cases shall ensure making timely entries in the database. 13. Compounding of offence: 13.1 Section 138 of the CGST Act, 2017 provides for compounding of offences by the Pr. Commissioner/ Commissioner on payment of compounding amount. The provisions regarding compounding of offence should be brought to the notice of person being prosecuted and such person be given an offer of compounding by Pr. Commissioner/ Commissioner or Pr. Additional Director General/Additional Director General of DGGI, as the case may be. 14. Transitional Provisions: 14.1 All cases where sanction for prosecution is accorded after the issue of these instructions shall be dealt in accordance with the provisions of these instructions irres .....

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GUIDELINES FOR LAUNCHING OF PROSECUTION UNDER THE CENTRAL GOODS & SERVICES TAX ACT, 2017 - GST

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..... ncluding commodity/ Service: 4. Charges: 5. Period of offence: 6. Amount involved 7. Particular of persons proposed to be prosecuted : a. Name: b. Father's Name: c. Age : Sex: d. Address: e. Occupation: f. Position held in the Company/Firm: g. Role played in the offence: h. Material evidence available against the accused (please indicate separately documentary and oral evidence): i. Action ordered against the accused in adjudication: 8. Brief note why prosecution is recommended: (Deputy/Assistant Commissioner, CGST / (Deputy/ Assistant Director, DGGI _____) Place: Date: 9. I have carefully examined the Investigation Report and find it in order for filling criminal complaint under section 132 of the CGST Act, 2017. (Additional/ Joint Commissioner, CGST _________)/ (Additional/ Joint Director, DGGI _______) Place: Date: 1. The proposal should be made in the above form in conformity with the guidelines issued by the Board. Regarding Sl. No. 4 above, all the charging sections in the CGST Act, 2017 and other allied Acts should be mentioned. Regarding Sl. No. 7, information should be filled separately for each person sought to be prosecuted. 2. A copy of the Show Cause Notice as well .....

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GUIDELINES FOR LAUNCHING OF PROSECUTION UNDER THE CENTRAL GOODS & SERVICES TAX ACT, 2017 - GST

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