PRAKASHSINH HATHISINH UDAVAT VERSUS STATE OF GUJARAT

Seizure of vehicle and two phones of petitioner – sub-section (2) of section 67 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act/ Gujarat Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 – HELD THAT:- Issue Notice to the newly joined respondent to explain as to under what circumstances and in the exercise of which powers he has issued the impugned order dated 25.10.2018, returnable on 10th October 2019.

No.- R/SPECIAL CIVIL APPLICATION NO. 15365 of 2019

Dated.- September 27, 2019

MS HARSHA DEVANI AND MS SANGEETA K. VISHEN, JJ.

For The Petitioner (s) : MR MAULIK VAKHARIYA(6628)

For The Respondent (s): DS AFF. NOT FILED (N)(11)

ORAL ORDER

(PER: HONOURABLE MS.JUSTICE HARSHA DEVANI)

1. This petition challenges the order of seizure dated 25.10.2018 passed by Shri B.B. Pandor, Assistant Commissioner of State Tax (1) (Enforcement), Division-1, Ahmedabad whereby the vehicle of the petitioner bearing No.GJ-01-RX-0477 and two phones have been seized. Such order of seizure has been made in exercise of power under sub-section (2) of section 67 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act/ Gujarat Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.

2. A perusal of the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 67 of the Act reveals that the same envisages authorization by an officer, not below the rank of Joint Commissioner where he forms an opinion that the goods liable to confiscation or any documents or books or things, which in his opinion shall be useful for or relevant to any proceedings under the Act, are secreted in any place.

3. In the present case, a perusal of the impugned order shows that the details of the premises are Rajya Kar Bhavan, Ahmedabad, namely, the State Tax Office.

4. The learned Assistant Government Pleader upon a perusal of the record of the case is not in a position to point out any authorization having been issued by a person, not below the rank of Joint Commissioner for carrying out a search in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 67 of the CGST/ GGST Act, 2017.

5. Under the circumstances, the impugned action of the said Officer appears to be total without any authority of law. Moreover, since the details of the premises as stated in the impugned order is Rajya Kar Bhavan, Ahmedabad, it is manifest that no officer would permit search on such premises in accordance with the powers under sub-section (2) of section 67 of the CGST/ GGST Act, 2017.

6. In view of the above, Shri B.B. Pandor, Assistant Commissioner of State Tax (1) (Enforcement), Division-1, Ahmedabad shall be joined as respondent No.4 in these proceedings.

7. Issue Notice to the newly joined respondent to explain as to under what circumstances and in the exercise of which powers he has issued the impugned order dated 25.10.2018, returnable on 10th October 2019.

8. Registry to forthwith forward a copy of this order to the concerned officer.

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