13.08.2022: Summons to be issued as last resort – Delhi High Court

The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi vide its order dated 28.07.2022 in the matter of Eversub India Private limited Vs. Union of India & Ors. in W.P. (C) – 11218/2022, disposed of the writ petition in the line of the statement made on the behalf of the respondents, with respect to guidelines and circulars for issuance of summons, that the circulars and guidelines are binding on the revenue and in future, if summons are issued, will be issued according to/or in consonance with the circulars and guidelines issued in this respect.

The Petitioner filed the present writ petition against the summons dated 28.04.2022 issued by the Superintendent, Anti-Evasion, CGST, Delhi – East.

Petitioner’s Submission: –

  • It was submitted on the behalf of the petitioner that the grievance of the petitioner is that the respondents by issuing summons has not considered the circulars dated 23.12.2019, 26.02.2007, 20.01.2015 and guidelines incorporated in circular dated 05.11.2019.
  • Further the summons issued were required to indicate the DIN as per the guidelines and if the summons contain DIN, it lends authenticity to the document.
  • That the circulars and guidelines provide for exceptions for an emergent situation and the process also requires the respondents to regularise the deficiency.
  • It was also submitted that as per the circulars and guidelines, the summons has to be issued as a last resort, and if the information can be obtained from officers working for an entity, then the top management need not be impleaded in immediately.

Respondents: –

  • That while submitting on behalf of the respondents/revenue, it was accepted that the circulars and guidelines are binding on revenue and if the summons are issued in future, would be issued according to /or in consonance with the Circulars and guidelines issued in this behalf.
  • Further if the summons are issued to the Petitioner’s employee for furnishing the information or to appear before the concerned officer, and if a request is made that the employee summoned would be represented through a authorized agents, in case the said request is declined, the reasons for the same will be furnished.

Held: –

  • The Hon’ble Court after considering the submissions from the both sides and facts of the case, found that the thrust of the argument is that only when the respondents are able to show that a particular person in the company is involved in the infractions or suspected of committing infractions, can summons be issued to the concerned person.
  • Further, the Hon’ble Court considering the argument/statements made on the behalf of the revenue disposed of the writ petition, finding the same in line with the contents of the aforementioned circulars and guidelines.


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