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Gujarat high court asks officials to come up with circular barring recovery during GST searches

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Aaquib Chhipa, Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court on Tuesday has directed the Central Board of Indirect taxes & Customs and Chief Commissioner of Central / State Tax of Gujarat to issue a circular that, no recovery in any mode by cheque, cash, e­-payment or adjustment of input tax credit should be made at the time of search/inspection proceedings under section 67 of Central / Gujarat GST Act 2017.

The division bench of Gujarat High Court issued directions that no recovery is to be made during search/inspection proceedings under section 67 of the Central / Gujarat Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act 2017, under any circumstances. It said this will be applicable even if the assessee comes forward to make voluntary payment by filing Form DRC­03. The court said the assessee should be asked/advised to file such Form DRC­03 on the next day after the end of search proceedings and after the officers of the visiting team have left the premises of the assessee, the court said.

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The court said that the facility to filed a complaint/ grievance after the end of search proceedings for GST should be made available to the assessee if the assessee was forced to make payment in any mode during the
pendency of the search proceedings.

If a complaint/ grievance is filed by the assessee and the officer is found to have acted in defiance of the directions, then strict disciplinary action should be initiated against the concerned officer, the court said.

The court came down heavily after several petitions were filed alleging physical violence, undue harassment, coercion from intelligence officers during the search/inspection proceedings. The matter is further likely to be heard this week.

 

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