GST: Kerala High Court upholds Inspection, Search, and Seizure for goods kept under illegal custody [Read Judgment]

goods kept illegal custody - Kerala High Court - GST - Taxscan

The Kerala High Court upheld the inspection, search and seizure under Section 67 of the CGST Act for goods kept under illegal custody and an amount of Rupees One Crore extorted from them.

The petitioners, the Managing Director and Director of a Company registered under the Companies Act, engaged in providing Cable Services as a Multi-Service Operator (MSO) under the Telephone Regulatory of India (TRAI) Regulations, are in appeal. The appellants allege that illegal proceedings were taken against them, purportedly under the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, and their residences and offices were raided, both of them kept under illegal custody and an amount of Rs.1 Crore extorted from them.

The petitioner has prayed for setting aside notice requiring them to provide information issued by the Senior Intelligence Officer (SIO); invalidation of search and seizure proceedings initiated under Section 67 of the CGST Act; refund of Rupees One Crore collected by the SIO and Assistant Commissioner; a declaration that the petitioners are not liable to pay GST on the revenue share retained by the Local Cable Operator; and compensation for the damage to the reputation of the petitioners and the mental agony suffered.

The Single Judge found that the writ petition is premature and there was no evidence produced by the petitioners to substantiate the contention of harassment perpetrated on them. The Single Judge held that it is inappropriate to form an opinion regarding the allegations raised, at this stage, especially for the reason of there being no supporting material to establish the allegations.

The division bench of Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice T.R. Ravi held that the proceedings initiated under Section 67 are not improper, illegal or that the actions projected before us were in any manner proceeded with, in an arbitrary or high-handed fashion.

“We dismiss the appeal, leaving the parties to suffer their respective costs,” the bench said.

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