2018 Taxo.online 173

WRIT TAX No. – 805 of 2018 dated 25,05.2018

Shri Viklap Jain

Union Of India And 4 Ors



Central Goods & Services Tax Act, 2017

Section 70

Pankaj Mithal, Justice & Rajiv Joshi, Justice

In favour of revenue

High Court


Represented by: –

Petitioner: – Anil Prakash Mathur

Respondent: – B. K. Singh Raghuvanshi

Order: –

Heard Sri A.P. Mathur, learned counsel for the petitioner.

The petitioner claims that he is running a hotel and a Desi wine shop. He has been issued summons dated 8.5.2018 under Section 70 of Central Goods & Services Tax Act, 2017 by the Superintendent, Office of the Chief Commissioner, Central Goods and Services Tax Commissionerate, Meerut to appear in person before him on 10.5.2018 at 12.45 hours to give evidence on such matters concerning the enquiry as he may be asked and produce the documents and record mentioned in the schedule for examination.

In pursuance to the above summoned, the petitioner had not attended the office of the Chief Commissioner, rather it is alleged that his wife went to the office and requested for granting a month’s time as the petitioner was reported to be out of station. The petitioner has invoked the writ jurisdiction of this Court seeking direction upon the respondents to allow him to appear along with the counsel only during the office hours, not to harass him and to force him to give statement in the manner the department wants.

The summons as enclosed with the writ petition only requires the petitioner to appear during the office hours and, therefore, the apprehension of the petitioner that he may not be summoned after the office hours or that he may be summoned only during the office hours is misconceived.

We do not even find any reason for the apprehension for the use of third degree methods against the petitioner or that he will be harassed or the department will force him to give evidence in the manner they desire.

In Ajit Jain Vs. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, New Delhi (1998) 2 SCC 752 it has been laid down that the party to whom summons have been issued shall make himself available as directed for interrogation and should answer the questions put to him but he cannot be compelled to answer the questions which are confusing and to which he cannot reply due to loss of memory. The officer recording the statement should record it faithfully in whatever way the party respondents to the questions and may, at the same time, make his own observation pertaining to the demeanour of the party.

In Vijay Sajnani Vs. Union of India 2017 (345) E.L.T. 323 (SC) the Supreme Court ruled that interrogation of the party summoned may be in the presence of an Advocate.

In Mahender Kumar Kundia Vs. Union of India (2015) 15 SCC 419 it was observed by the Supreme Court that the counsel be allowed to be present at the time of interrogation within visible distance through beyond hearing distance.

In Shamrock Chemie Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Union of India 2017 (51) S.T.R. 353 (Guj.) their Lordships have observed that during the investigation/enquiry while recording statement third degree measures ought not be used nor the party should be ill treated. The presence of the counsel of the party at a distance from where party is visible to him but not in hearing range does not result in interference in interrogation which may adversely affect the right of investigation/recording evidence and, as such, the presence of the Advocate of the party is permissible.

Similar view has also been expressed in Prakash Kumar Choudhary Vs. Union of India 1996 (83) E.L.T. 45 (Ker.).

Now to summarize the above legal position, it is settled that no person can deny interrogation or putting questions to him during enquiry on the summons being issued to him. The person served with summons has to answer the questions put to him faithfully though he cannot be compelled to answer questions which are confusing and to which he cannot reply due to memory loss.The interrogation has to be made during the office hours and that in order to safeguard the person from ill treatment or use of third degree measure the presence of his Advocate may be permitted who may remain at a safe distance from where he may not listen to the questions and answers but may see the party.

In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, though the entire petition is based upon apprehension only, we dispose it of expecting the authorities to adhere to the above settled principles of law in interrogating or putting questions to the petitioner pursuant to the summons dated 8.5.2018 issued to him.

Since the petitioner has not appeared before the Superintendent, Office of the Chief Commissioner, Central Goods and Services Tax Commissionerate, Meerut now he is directed to present himself on 30th May, 2018 or on any other date which may be informed to him by the aforesaid Officer on his appearance on 30th May, 2018.

The petition is disposed of with the direction that the petitioner will cooperate with the enquiry.

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