Sec 67(2) Of CGST Act Does Not Empower Seizure Of Currency: Delhi HC While Ordering Release Of ₹15.92 Lakhs Seized By GST Officials
Recently, the Delhi High Court ordered the release of Rs. 15.92 lakh that was seized by GST officials from the premises of the Petitioner.
The Division Bench comprising of Justice Vibhu Bakhru and Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav agreed to the contention of the Petitioner that the seizure of Rs. 15.92 lakh from the premises was illegal as Section 67(2) of the CGST Act does not empower any such seizure.
Advocate Gagan Kumar Singhal appeared for the Petitioner, whereas Advocate Harpreet Singh appeared for the Respondent.
The brief facts of the case were that the GST officials conducted a search at the residential premises of the petitioner, who participated in the ongoing investigation. He claimed that the officials had no reason to conduct any search, more particularly as he was not a taxpayer under the CGST Act. During the search, various documents were seized along with currency amounting to Rs. 15.92 lakh. The petitioner, along with two others, was arrested on March 1, 2020, but later released on bail.
After considering the submission, the Bench referred to a recent decision in Deepak Khandelwal Proprietor M/s Shri Shyam Metal v. Commissioner of CGST, Delhi West & Anr. [2023: DHC: 5823-DB] and directed the Commissioner of Goods and Services Tax to release the seized amount along with accrued interest into the petitioner's bank account within two weeks, stating that this decision covers the issue in hand.
However, the Court clarified that the Authorities were not barred from taking further legal measures in accordance with the law.
Cause Title: Rajeev Chhatwal v. Commissioner of Goods and Services Tax (East) [Neutral Citation: 2023: DHC: 6060-DB]