On 6th April 2017 Rajyasabha has passed four GST bills viz. Central GST Bill 2017, Integrated Goods and Service Tax Bill 2017, the Union Territory Service Tax Bill 2017 and the Goods and Service Tax (Compensation to States) Bill 2017. This article deals with the provisions with respect to few offences which are made cognizable and non-bailable.
a. Cognizable offences are those which are serious in nature and in respect of which the police officer has the authority to make an arrest without a warrant and to start investigation with or without permission of court.
b. Non-Cognizable offence are those under which a police officer cannot make an arrest or investigation without permission of court
c. Bail means release of a person who is charged with an offence on providing a security to ensure his presence whenever required.
d. Bailable offences are offences which are made bailable under any law where bail can be granted.
e. Non-bailable offences are the one where the accused doesn’t have the right to be released on bail but the bail can be granted at the discretion of the Court.
Cognizable & non-bailable offence under GST:
Sub section 5 of section 132 of CGST 2017 bill, specified below four types of cases as cognizable and non-bailable under CGST / SGST / UTGST / IGST / GST Compensation cess, where amount of tax evasion including compensation cess and / or wrong availment, utilisation of input tax credit and / or wrong refunds exceeds Rs 5 crores which shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or with fine.
i. Supply without bill: Supplies of goods or services or both without issue of any invoice in violation of GST law or rules with the intention to evade tax; or
ii. Billing without Supply: Issue of invoice or bill without supply of goods or services or both leading to wrongful availment or utilisation of input tax credit or refund of tax; or
iii. Wrong Input Credits on bills without supply: Avails input tax credit using invoice or bill referred in point no. 2; or
iv. Tax collected but not deposited: Collects any amount as tax but not deposited beyond a period of three months from its becoming due.
All other offences except listed above shall be non-cognizable and bailable.
Further, section 135 of CGST bill provided that in any prosecution the court shall presume the existence of ‘mensrea’ i.e culpable mental state which includes intention, motive, knowledge of a fact and belief. However, the accused can prove in defence that he had no such mental state with respect to the act charged as an offence.