Vimal Yashwantgiri Goswami Versus State of Gujarat – (2019) 76 GST 10 (High Court – Gujarat)

GST Authorities must exercise the power of ‘Arrest’ under Section 69 of the CGST Act, with lot of care and circumspection.

Facts: The assessee filed a writ petition seeking directions to the GST Authorities not to take any actions against him exercising powers under section 69 read with section 132 without following due procedure of law of assessment and adjudication of alleged evasion of GST as contemplated under Section 61, 73 and 74 of the CGST Act.

Issue: Whether the Revenue is entitled to arrest a person in an arbitrary manner without following the due course of law.

Held: The Gujarat High Court held that the powers of arrest under Section 69 of the CGST Act are to be exercised with a lot of care and circumspection. The prosecution should normally be launched only after the adjudication is completed. To put it in other words, there must be in the first place a determination that a person is “liable to a penalty”. Till that point of time, the entire case proceeds on the basis that there must be an apprehended evasion of tax by the assessee.

The Hon’ble High Court issued Notice to the Revenue while directing that no coercive steps of arrest shall be taken against the writ applicant”.

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