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Arrest under GST Law

First arrest under GST law by Commissioner (CGST) : Two Businessmen arrested by Officers of CGST in Mumbai for  availing ineligible credit on fictitious tax invoices

Officers of CGST Mumbai have arrested two businessmen for creating fictitious invoices and availing ineligible credit. The persons have been arrested for availing input tax credit on the basis of fraudulent invoices against which no actual goods were bought or sold.

The power to arrest is provided under Section 69 of the CGST Act, 2017 and is to be exercised by the Commissioner in cases of outright fraud where the amount of tax evaded or the amount of input tax credit wrongly availed exceeds Rs. 2 crore.

The Government wants to assure taxpayers that compliant taxpayers do not run the risk of facing such punitive action in carrying-out their day to day operations. The power to arrest is to be exercised where there is deliberate fraud of sizeable magnitude with intent to evade tax. It is meant to serve as a deterrent to unscrupulous elements in trade who may try to defraud the system. There are sufficient checks built into the law to ensure that inadvertent or procedural lapses do not attract severe punitive measures.

Let’s understand what Section 69 of the CGST Act, 2017 says:

Section 69 of GST – Power to arrest as per GST Act

(1) Where the Commissioner has reasons to believe that a person has committed any offence specified in clause (a) or clause (b) or clause (c) or clause (d) of sub-section (1) of section 132 which is punishable under clause (i) or (ii) of sub-section (1), or sub-section (2) of the said section, he may, by order, authorise any officer of central tax to arrest such person.

(2) Where a person is arrested under sub-section (1) for an offence specified under subsection (5) of section 132, the officer authorised to arrest the person shall inform such person of the grounds of arrest and produce him before a Magistrate within twenty-four hours.

(3) Subject to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973,–

(a) where a person is arrested under sub-section (1) for any offence specified under sub-section (4) of section 132, he shall be admitted to bail or in default of bail, forwarded to the custody of the Magistrate;

(b) in the case of a non-cognizable and bailable offence, the Deputy Commissioner or the Assistant Commissioner shall, for the purpose of releasing an arrested person on bail or otherwise, have the same powers and be subject to the same provisions as an officer-in-charge of a police station.

a. www.pib.nic.in
b. Photo : pixabay.com

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