Supreme Court to clarify the position of law on the power to arrest under GST
The present petitions contest the power of the Revenue to make arrests for contravention of the provisions of the GST Act.
As the different High Courts took divergent views in this regard, the position of law must be clarified.
Moreover, as the respondent-assessees were allowed anticipatory bail in the orders being challenged, such orders do not warrant interference.
Nonetheless, while entertaining any such requests in future, the order of the Telangana High Court be kept in mind, which has said that individuals can’t be given protection from arrest in such cases. This order has earlier been upheld by the apex court.
The present matters as well as connected matters be listed before a three judge Bench to decide the question of law on the power of arrest.
FULL TEXT OF THE SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT
As different High Courts of the country have taken divergent views in the matter, we are of the view that the position in law should be clarified by this Court. Hence, the notice.
As the accused-respondents have been granted the privilege of pre-arrest bail by the High Court by the impugned orders, at this stage, we are not inclined to interfere with the same. However, we make it clear that the High Courts while entertaining such request in future, will keep in mind that this Court by order dated 27.5.2019 passed in SLP(Crl.) No. 4430/2019 had dismissed the special leave petition filed against the judgment and order of the Telangana High Court in a similar matter, wherein the High Court of Telangana had taken a view contrary to what has been held by the High Court in the present case.
Beyond the above, we do not consider it necessary to observe anything further.
The present matters alongwith other connected matters (SLP(Crl.) No. 244/2019, W.P. (Crl.) No. 118/2019, T.C. (Crl.) No. 3/2018, T.C. (Crl.) No. 4/2018, SLP(Crl.) No. 4634/2014, SLP(Crl.) No. 993/2016, W.P.(Crl.) No. 309/2018, W.P.(Crl.) No. 333/2018 and W.P.(Crl.) No. 34/2019) be listed before a Bench of three Judges.
SLP(Crl.) No. 4571/2019
Having heard learned counsel for the petitioner and upon perusing the relevant material, we are not inclined to interfere. The special leave petition is accordingly dismissed.
Pending interlocutory applications, if any, shall stand disposed of.