- About us
- Site map
- Contact Us
- Contact Us
The Officials attached to the Directorate General of GST Intelligence had conducted simultaneous raids on the business units and the residence of the Petitioner without any prior intimation. The Petitioners contended that during the questioning the Respondents, they had been abused in filthy language for not giving satisfactory replies and were also repeatedly assaulted in physical manner.
As a result of the assault, the Petitioner had been rendered unable to walk on account of the physical assault, as confirmed by a physician. The employees of the Petitioner lodged police complaint for such an assault, in response to which few police officials arrived at the premises but refused to take any action against such officials.
The Respondents contended that the Petitioners were not cooperating with the investigating agency. Preliminary investigation revealed tax evasion of Rs. 5 crores. The Respondents also stated that there was no bar in making enquiries under Section 70 of GST Act, in the night.
The Petitioners sought to declare the actions of such officials as illegal, arbitrary and unconstitutional apart from being violative of constitutional rights. The Petitioner further sought direction that the Respondents to follow due process of law and comply with the principles of natural justice in further investigation process or seeking transfer of the conduct of enquiry to any other wing /unit established under CGST Act.
It was observed by the HC that the Respondents cannot contend that they will interrogate the persons suspected of committing any tax evasion as per their sweet will, forceably keeping them in their custody for indefinite period. It was observed that such custondy shall be construed as informal custody and the law relating to an accused in custody has to be expressly or impliedly applied. If accused can get all the benefits under Art.22 of the Constitution, a person in such informal custody can say that he is also entitled to get relief under Art.21 of the Constitution of India. This view has been taken by the Gujarat HC in the case of Jignesh Kishorbhai Bhajiawala v. State of Gujarat [2017 Crl.L.J.1760 para 19 at pg.1777] while dealing with similar actions of authorities under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
Basis the above observations, the Telangana HC allowed the following directions:
Agarwal Foundaries [Writ Petition No.28268 of 2019]
The information provided in this update is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal opinion or advice. Readers are requested to seek formal legal advice prior to acting upon any of the information provided herein. This update is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or corporate body. There can be no assurance that the judicial/ quasi judicial authorities may not take a position contrary to the views mentioned hereinrra quis.
Sign up for the Newsletter