FA, 2020 amendment increasing...
Fact of the Case
The petitioners were company directors and searched the company's premises of the petitioners and some documents came to be seized. The department claimed that counterfeit invoices without receipt or supply of goods or services were prepared for the use of input tax credits.
The complainants argued that all the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure should be applied for registration of crime, investigation and cognizance of the offence and this filed criminal writ petition.
The department submitted that even summons was not issued, but petitioners rushed to the Court to prevent its officers from exercising their powers. The department would follow the procedure.
But the petitioners also argued that all the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure would need to be applied to register crime, investigation and for taking cognizance of the offence. Since the procedure was not followed, action taken against them was illegal.
The Honorable High Court observed that after seizure of record, company of the petitioners voluntarily deposited amount and it was not deposited under protest.
Moreover, petitioners delayed proceedings by claiming their consultant suffered from Covid-19 and already received undue interim relief. The case was deliberately filed in the holiday court to delay the proceedings. It was held that there was material to make out prima-facie case of fraud against the petitioners. Therefore, both adjudication and prosecution can be initiated simultaneously.
Further, the special provisions under GST Act shall prevail over the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure and it cannot be said that all the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure like Sections 154 and 173 of Code of Criminal Procedure need to be followed for prosecution under GST Act.
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