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Individual avoiding appearance before the competent authority without any just excuse cannot escape coercive action including arrest

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Court :
High Court of Jharkhand

Brief :
The Hon'ble High Court of Jharkhand concluding on the issue, held that- whether Competent Authority had misconstrued the observations made by the High Court in order dated February 21, 2019 held that it is well-settled in law that any one intentionally avoiding the mandate in law is not entitled for any protection in law.

Citation :
CONT. CASE (CIVIL) NOS. 665, 668 TO 671 OF 2019

In the case of Directorate General of GST Intelligence v. Pankaj Agarwal [CONT. CASE (CIVIL) NOS. 665, 668 TO 671 OF 2019] the Hon'ble High Court of Jharkhand by an order dated July 09, 2021, observed that section 69 read with section 70 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017("CGST Act") does not imply that the competent authority cannot take coercive action against an individual who is avoiding appearance without any just excuse before the competent authority even after issuance of a dozen summons.

The Directorate General of GST Intelligence ("the Petitioner") filed the present contempt case through Senior Intelligence Officer against the violation of directions issued by the Hon'ble High Court of Jharkhand by an order dated February 21, 2019. In the said order a batch of writ petitions were disposed off and the Court directed the Petitioner that they shall appear before the Senior Intelligence Officer who has issued summons to them as and when called, further, they shall not be arrested on the first day when they appear before him.

Pankaj Agarwal ("the Respondent"), did not appear before the Senior Intelligence Officer and failed to produce necessary documents and tender other evidences. The Petitioner contended that he was reluctant to proceed against the Respondent because of observation of the High Court that he shall not be arrested on first day of his appearance before the Competent Authority.

The Hon'ble High Court of Jharkhand concluding on the issue, held that- whether Competent Authority had misconstrued the observations made by the High Court in order dated February 21, 2019 held that it is well-settled in law that any one intentionally avoiding the mandate in law is not entitled for any protection in law.

The Hon'ble High court held that Section 69 read with section 70 of the CGST Act does not immune an individual from coercive action of the competent authority including his arrest and the competent authority has the liberty to proceed in matter in accordance with law if an individual avoids appearance without any just excuse before the competent authority even after issuance of a dozen summons.

 

Bimal Jain
on 06 September 2021
Published in GST
Views : 22
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