INSPECTION , SEARCH & SEIZURE UNDER GST

Inspection, Search, Seizure under GST are undoubtedly those powers assigned to the officers which can make or break it. It deals with powers of officers of CGST & SGST to carry out inspection /reviews or search of any places of business or a transporter or a warehouse where there is a reason to believe that tax evasion has taken place or likely to take place. Keeping in mind the government’s anti –tax evasion scheme, GST has a strict provision to inspect & search places of business of suspected tax evaders.

What is the difference between Search & Inspection?

Search:

The Term “Search” denotes an action of a government machinery to go, look through or examine carefully a place, area, person, object etc. In order to find something concealed or for the purpose of discovering evidence of a crime. To make a careful investigation of any person or vehicle or premises etc. can only be done under the proper authority of law. It simply involves an attempt to find something. An officer authorized to conduct a search can seize the goods which are liable to confiscation or seize documents which may be relevant for any proceedings.

Inspection:

It is the act of exploration or examining something. The Inspection of documents relevant to issues in a lawsuit is an important element of discovery. It is a new provision under the CGST/SGST Act. It is a softer provision than search to enable officers to access any place of business of a taxable person & also any place of business of a person engaged in transporting goods or who is an owner/operator of a warehouse. The authorization for inspection or search has to be given in writing by an officer not below the rank of Joint Commissioner. Inspection during transit can be done even without authorization of Joint Commissioner.

In which places Inspection Arrangements turned out to be applicable:

Authorization can be given to an officer of CGST/SGST to carry out inspection of any of the following

  • Any place of business of taxable person. Place of Business means where a person usually transacts his affairs or business.
  • Any place of business of a person engaged in the business of transporting goods , whether or not he is a registered taxable person.
  • Any place of business of an owner or an operator of a warehouse.

Who can give Proclamation for Inspection under GST:

Firstly Inspection is carried out by an officer of CGST/SGST only upon a written authorization given by an officer of the rank of joint commissioner or above. If a joint commissioner or a higher rank officer of CGST/SGST has reasons to believe that the person concerned has done any of the following, then he can authorize any other officer to inspect the places:

  1. Undisclosed any transaction of stocks in hand or transaction of supply
  2. Claimed input tax credit in excess
  3. A transporter or warehouse Controller has kept goods which have escaped payment of tax or has kept his accounts or goods in the manner that is likely to cause evasion of tax.

Basic Requirement/ Essentials during Search Operations under GST :

The Following Principles be observed during Search:

  • Search of premises should not be carried out without a valid search warrant issued by the proper officer.
  • Register of records of search warrant should be maintained
  • The officers before stating the search should disclose their identity by showing their identity cards to person in charge of the premises.
  • The search should be made in the presence of at least two independent witnesses of the locality.
  • When the search is over, the search warrant duly executed should be returned in original to the issuing officer

 Methodology  for conducting Search?

Section 67(10) of CGST/SGST Act prescribes that searches must be carried out in accordance with the provisions of Section 100 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Who can give Judicial Pronouncement of Search under GST?

Keeping in mind results of inspection or any other reason, the Joint Commissioner or an officer of higher rank of SGST/CGST can order for a search if he has reasons to believe:

  • There are many goods which are liable for confiscation.
  • Any documents or books or other things which will be useful during proceedings & are hidden somewhere

NOTE:  Search without a valid Search Warrant results in an illegal search without authority of law

What predominance can be exercised by an officer during valid search?

An officer carrying out a search has the power to search & seize goods, documents, books or things from the premises searched. The officer so authorized will have the power to seal the door of the premises. He can also break & open the door of the premises. He can also break & open any cupboard or box in which goods, books, documents etc. are suspected to be concealed.

Seizure under GST

‘Seizure’ is defined as the act of taking in possession of property by an officer under legal process.  It generally implies taking possession forcibly against wishes of the owner. If goods are confiscated by an order issued by the competent authority which attains finality then only the ownership is transferred to the government. If it is not confiscated, then the ownership is again transferred to the original owner of the goods. It is to be noted that seizure of goods & documents can be made in relation to an investigation concerning supply of goods but in case of investigation, related to supply of services, only documents will be seized.

What brings to light after Seizure?

  1. The Person, whose documents are seized, can make copies only in the presence of an officer of CGST/SGST.
  2. The seized goods will be released, on a provisional basis & after that bond will be filed & furnishing of a security.
  3. If notice is not issued within 6 months of the seizing the goods, they will be returned.
  4. If the goods are hazardous or perishable, then the Central or state government will notify to dispose of the goods.
  5. Such goods which are to be disposed of will be listed by the officer.

What is the difference between Seizure & Detention?

Denial of access to the owner of the property or the person who possesses the property at a particular point of time by a legal order/notice is called detention. Seizure is taking over of actual possession of the goods by the department. Detention order is issued when it is suspected that the goods are liable to confiscation. Seizure can be made only on the reasonable belief which is arrived at after inquiry/investigation that the goods are liable to confiscation.

Private Limited Company Registeration Serives

The Reason Government of India is Not Serious About Ganga

Ganga is a lifeline for India, it is a river which has allowed Indian civilization to grow and flourish since the ancient times. The river is providing livelihood to million of Indian people today also but now the condition of River is degrading. The high rate of increase of India’s population is an alarming factor. The Gangetic Plains is one of the most fertile place in India as well as one of the most densely populated place in India. The Ganges River is one of the most Important River in India and it is also one of the largest river river that flows in India. The importance of Ganges can be known from the fact that the biggest river of Southern India is also known as Southern Ganges. Ganga is not only a river for India, it is a cradle for civilization, a source of livelihood for millions of people and it is treated as Goddess in India. The name Ganges can be found in many ancient texts of Hinduism. There are many mythological stories are associated with Ganges in which it is described how Ganges came to earth and who brought the river to earth. Many great and powerful kingdoms of ancient India were situated on the banks of Ganges river and today also some of the biggest industrial cities of India is situated either on the banks of Ganges river or its tributary. But now the alarming rate of increase of population of India has impacted Ganges too and the Holy river of India is now struggling to survive. The level of pollution in Ganges River is at an alarming rate since 1980 and since then successive government has tried to control the level of pollution in the sacred river of India but they all failed. Here I would be giving a brief insight of why it seems that Indian government is really not serious about reducing the level of pollution in Ganges River.

Image of Ganges River Basin with its tributary

Few days back I read a news that after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India he allocated whooping INR 3700 Crore under Namami Ganges Project (National Mission for Clean Ganga) in year 2014. After successive RTI and information obtained from Ministry of Water resource in India it was revealed that about 20% of the Rs 3,700-crore funds allocated in the first two years of the programme was not utilized. I came to this conclusion because its not that only the Narendra Modi led government has failed to achieve its target almost all the government has failed to get the things under control. In last 10 years the successive governments of India have defined a budget of nearly 20,000 corer INR but they failed to utilize the allocated budget. Even the authorities taking care of emission of pollutants in the river are not sincere about their task. The Central Pollution Control Board of India mentioned that nearly 30 drains empty harmful chemical in river in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the state pollution control board lists the number of Drains to 150. Similarly according to documents submitted to the court by the Center, the number of grossly polluting industries (GPIs) affecting the Ganga was 764 in 1985. In 2017, government officials were still listing the number of GPIs as 764. it means there was no increase in number of Industries along the bank of Ganges in last 32 years which is nearly impossible. The 40% pollution of India living along the banks of Ganges river is also not sincere about as they directly dump their waster water into the river. Individual houses as well as organizations like hotels and tour and travels operators. Two major factors that contribute heavily to the pollution of Ganges River are 1: Population living along the banks of the river, 2: Industrial Waster dumped into the river and 3: The religious activities performed on the river. The government can control the Industries and sewage falling in the river but it can’t control the religious activities going on on the river as it would be a direct attack on the religious belief of 1 Million people of India following the Hinduism religion.

Importance of Ganges River as mentioned in the Mythology of Hinduism

Going back in the past the first big initiate to clean Ganges River was carried out in the year 1985 when Congress Government led by Rajeev Gandhi initiated the Ganga Action Plan called GAP. The first GAP was a failure when it failed to achieve its target. The Government of India again started Ganga Action Plan 2 called GAP phase 2. Its aim was same to clean the Ganges by the year 2000. The GAP 2 was again failure when after spending cores of rupees the condition of Ganges worsened only. Now when Narendra Modi came to power in 2014 he again pitched the same thing i.e to clean the Ganges river by 2019 but again after three years the condition is same. Going by the current rate the Ganges River and its water would be no more available to the people of India by 2034. Not only the river is facing attacks on its survival but the source of river i.e the Gangotri Glacier is also facing extreme attack from the travelers and trekkers. Earlier huge number of travelers and trekkers used to trek to the Gangorti Glacier and it threatened the sensitive biodiversity of the region. In the year 2009 the government of Uttrakhand passed an order restricting the number of trekkers to 150 per month. This decision has multiple benefit as it will not only preserve the source of Ganges river it will also help the engendered spices to live freely. Anyways if the Government of India as well as the people of India needs to survive the upcoming water crises they need to understand the importance of Ganges river. There is a common saying in India “If Ganges thrives, India thrives and if Ganges dies, India dies”. This is not just a saying it is a reality of India and people of India must acknowledge this reality.

Place Of Women In Indian Culture

Every stage, every problem, every angle was debated and re-visited over the the next couple of months. Request any girls and she’s going to have the ability to let you know how she could identify herself with the sufferer, feel the rage, the frustration and ultimate resignation. But, what about guys? If the sufferer was a girl, let us not overlook the perpetrators were men.

A few privileged from our business environment were selected to shed light on this particular issue and they certainly did not have any deficit of penetrations in the topic. Considering the reality there are thousands and countless folks out there right now battling for an alteration in the Indian program and culture, the reality that most of the interviewers believed that there was no or small expectation for stopping offenses against girls was a tad heart breaking. What’s it that got them believe so? Some proposed that outside factors like alcohol and drugs perform an essential part in explaining the activities of a guy who’s now not in get a grip on of his perceptions. But as all of us understand, these stages aren’t relevant to all instances.

Maybe, what was somewhat funny were the cursors given like “Guys should have better self-control” or “Guys should understand their limitations”. For girls who’ve grown up hearing advice their entire lives from their parents and sympathizers about how they should speak, wander, gown and act, these paths might seem a little too feeble. Needless to say, the discussion didn’t finish without a couple of words of advice for his or her female counterparts also. The normal and typical phrases of wisdom were handed down about how girls should socialize in a risk-free circle, prevent trips in unusual hours, know about atmosphere, to not induce or bring unnecessary attention, be attentive and watchful and more. Though wellmeaning, several would claim that such lines would make up the opinion of a patriarchal culture that nonetheless sets the function of girls in triggering offenses against themselves in the vanguard. Though you’ll find nothing wrong in being mindful and conscious, the genesis of this out of control scenario cannot be entirely put on the girl’s head.

There appeared some expectation when most of the interviewees concurred that how a girl dressed or talked didn’t issue. It was having less conscience on the culprit’s part that must be challenged. A basic consent was presented with on the dependence on better education and sensitization of people towards girls. Even better was a stage produced by among the fellow members who stated – “When I’ve kids, I Will educate them that there’s absolutely no dissimilarity between girl and a boy. This will ideally make my son regard any girl he satisfies in his life.” Going back with their first reaction, it’s a gloomy but ill-fated truth it’s likely to be a number of years before any significant change is visible in our society seeing this social evil. But the typical expectation for a much better future for women and men equally glows bright in all-eyes!