The monetary limits for arrest and prosecution have been revised substantially upwards to ensure that these powers are not used against small and medium businesses.
Thus the limits in case of offence of evasion of tax or wrongful utilization of input tax credit in case of Central Excise and Service tax have been revised to Rs.1 crore from Rs. 25 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh respectively. Circular No. 1010/17/2015-CX Dated- 23.10.2015
In case of evasion of tax under the Customs Act, the limits have been revised to Rs. 1 crore from Rs. 10 lakh in case of evasion of tax by wrongful availment of exemption or duty drawback. Similar, revisions regarding value of goods have been carried-out regarding appraisement of tax during import or export.
In cases of outright smuggling or mis-declaration of baggage, the limits regarding value of offending goods have been revised from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh. As in the past, there shall be no lower limit for arrest and prosecution in the cases of smuggling of fake Indian currency notes, arms, ammunitions and explosives and endangered species.
The procedure to be followed for arrest and sanction of prosecution has been revised and specified with adequate safeguards in these instructions to ensure that only in cases of serious nature above the revised thresholds, where there is strong prima-facie evidence, these powers are exercised.