GST Officer Denial of copies of seized documents by GST Officer is violation of GST Rules
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
Mozart Global Furniture
State Tax Officer (Intelligence), Nilambur
WP (C) NOS. 34457, 34470, 34494, 34505, 34531, 34560 & 34451 OF 2019
DECEMBER 17, 2019
Harisankar V. Menon, Smt. Meera V. Menon and Smt. K. Krishna, Advs. for the Petitioner. Smt. M.M. Jasmine, Govt. Pleader for the Respondent.
JUDGMENT1. As the issue involved in all these writ petitions is the same, they are taken up together for consideration and disposed by this common judgment.
2. The petitioners in all these Writ Petitions are persons who have been served with notices under Section 74 read with section 122 (1) of the Central Goods and Service Tax/ State Goods and Service Tax (CGST/SGST) Act proposing the demand of a tax/penalty from estimated turnover for the assessment years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. In the Writ Petition, it is their case that they were not permitted to take copies of the documents seized from their premises, or provided an opportunity to comment upon the same and that the respondents are now proposing to proceed with the adjudication proceedings pursuant to the notices served on them. The prayer in the Writ Petition is for a direction to the 1st respondent to supply copies of the documents relied upon by the 1st respondent while issuing the notices, and thereafter, to afford the petitioners an opportunity to submit their objections with regard to the reliance placed on the same, before proceedings to adjudicate the matter.
3. I have heard the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners and also the learned Government Pleader appearing for the respondents.
On a consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case as also the submissions made across the bar, I find that, although belatedly, the petitioners have approached the 1st respondent with applications for supply of copies of the documents seized from their premises, and relied upon while issuing Ext.P1 notice to them. Inasmuch as the adjudication proceedings pursuant to Ext.P1 notice have not commenced, and a denial of the request of the petitioners for copies of the documents seized from their premises would tantamount to a violation of the rules of natural justice, I dispose these Writ Petitions with the following directions:
|i.||On the petitioners approaching the 1st respondent within a period of two weeks from today, the 1st respondent shall furnish to them copies of the documents seized from their premises, and reliance on which is placed in Ext.P1 notice, within a week from the date of the petitioners approaching the 1st respondent.|
|ii.||The 1st respondent shall also grant the petitioners three weeks time from the date of supply of copies, for preferring their objections to the reliance sought to be placed in Ext.P1 notice on the said documents.|
|iii.||The 1st respondent shall within a month thereafter proceed to adjudicate the issue in Ext.P1 notice, after hearing the petitioners.|
|iv.||The petitioners shall produce a copy of the writ petition along with a copy of this judgment, before the 1st respondent, for further action.|