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Evasion of GST - Jurisdiction of inspect and search - Power to issue Seizure (prohibition) order - Proper authorization –Section 67  of the Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017

..... 3), Gandhinagar. In the order it has been indicated that the goods as well as the Books and other documents have been seized. It also appears that thereafter an order of prohibition came to be passed under Rule 139(4) with respect to the goods in the nature of cotton seeds and bales. Therefore, with regard of inspection, survey and search operations conducted by the GST department, the some of the facts narrated by the assessee (petitioner) were as follows: The Petitioner says and submits that on 04-12-2018 some of the officers from the office of Assistant Commissioner (Enforcement) visited our premises and started investigation and during such investigation impounded some documents like Purchase invoices described by them as the dealer who .....

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..... of final product which are cleared with payment of tax and the liability thereon also stands discharged. (D). The petitioner says and submits that the stock lying in the premises has no connection with the so called allegation of the department and is out of the purchases either from the traders who has discharged their liability or from farmers for which the petitioner has discharged liability under the provisions of the Reverse Charge Mechanism. In other words, the stock lying within the premises is duty paid stock and hence the order of prohibition is bad in law and is liable to be set aside. Prayer that there being merit in this writ application, the same be allowed and the impugned order of prohibition be quashed. ANALYSIS :- Clause (2 .....

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..... as under :- ....It cannot be said that the documents have not been 'secreted within the meaning of S.105 of the Customs Act unless they are hidden or concealed. In the context of the section the word means 'documents which are not kept in the normal or usual place' or it may even mean 'documents or things which are likely to be secreted'; in other words documents or things which a person is likely to keep out of the way or to put in a place where the officer of the law cannot find it. [1005 F-G]. The power to search granted under S.105 of the Customs Act is a power of general search and it is not necessary for its exercise that the authorisation should specify the documents for which search is to be made. But it is esse .....

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..... as entertained by the the Proper Officer. The Assistant Commissioner appears to have merely carried out the orders of the superior officer namely the Appropriate Officer not below the rank of the Joint Commissioner. This aspect needs to be looked into by the State Government. It is possible that the Proper Officer not below the rank of Joint Commissioner under the Act may himself pass an order of seizure as well as order of prohibition. In such circumstances, the scenario would be altogether different. However, in the case on hand, it appears from the stance of the respondent No.4, as indicated in the Affidavit-inreply that the Assistant Commissioner of State Tax was authorised by the office of the Commissioner of State Tax (Enforcement) to .....

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