Section 69 read with Section 132: Provision pertaining to arrest under the CGST Act, 2017
Penal provisions always attract in case of violation of Provisions and Rules framed in an Act. GST Act is no exception to this statement,Section 69 read with Section 132 of the GST Act,2017 and rules made thereunder deals with provision pertaining to arrest under the Act for the violation. Offences relating to arrest under GST law can be broadly classified under two categories:
|Point of Difference||Non Cognizable and Bailable Offences||Cognizable and Non Bailable Offences|
|Definition||Non cognizable offences are those where a person cannot be arrested without warrant issued by competent authority.||Cognizable offences are those offences where a person can be arrested without any arrest warrant.|
|Provision under CGST Act, 2017||Section 132(4) of the Act states that all offences under the Act are Non Cognizable and Bailable except offences referred to in section 132(5).
Sec. 132(5): Where the amount of tax evaded or input tax wrongly availed does not exceed Rs. 5crore, such offences shall be considered Non Cognizable and Bailable.
|Section 132 (5) of the Act states that all offences specified in clause (a) or clause (b) or clause (c) or clause (d) of sub-section (1) of section 132 of the Act and punishable under clause (i) of that sub-section shall be cognizable and non-bailable.
Where the amount of tax evaded or input tax wrongly availed exceeds Rs. 5crore, such offences shall be considered Cognizable and Non Bailable.
|Who grants bail?||Deputy Commissioner or Assistant Commissioner has power to grant bail in case of offences which are non-cognizable and bailable under GST law.||Such person can be arrested on the spot without any arrest warrant. Where an assessee has reason to believe that he may be arrested on accusation of having committed a non-bailable offence under section 132(5), he can seek anticipatory bail by filing a petition under section 438 of CrPC.
Anticipatory bail may be granted subject to certain conditions:
Section 69: Power to Arrest
In a landmark judgement passed by The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of D.K. Basu v State of West Bengal  1 SCC 416 has prescribed eleven guidelines given below pertaining to arrest a person under any law. Therefore while exercising his power to arrest u/s 69 of the Act GST commissioner should ensure the compliance of guidelines provided by Supreme Court in the case D.K. Basu.
Section 70: Power to summon person to give evidence and produce documents
(1) The proper officer under this Act shall have power to summon any person whose attendance he considers necessary either to give evidence or to produce a document or any other thing in any inquiry in the same manner, as provided in the case of a civil court under the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908).
(2) Every such inquiry referred to in sub-section (1) shall be deemed to be a “judicial proceedings” within the meaning of section 193 and section 228 of the Indian Penal Code
Section 71: Access to business premises
(1) Any officer under this Act, authorised by the proper officer not below the rank of Joint Commissioner, shall have access to any place of business of a registered person to inspect books of account, documents, computers, computer programs, computer software whether installed in a computer or otherwise and such other things as he may require and which may be available at such place, for the purposes of carrying out any audit, scrutiny, verification and checks as may be necessary to safeguard the interest of revenue.
(2) Every person in charge of place referred to in sub-section (1) shall, on demand, make available to the officer authorised under sub-section (1) or the audit party deputed by the proper officer or a cost accountant or chartered accountant nominated under section 66—
(i) such records as prepared or maintained by the registered person and declared to the proper officer in such manner as may be prescribed;
(ii) trial balance or its equivalent;
(iii) statements of annual financial accounts, duly audited, wherever required;
(iv) cost audit report, if any, under section 148 of the Companies Act, 2013;
(v) the income-tax audit report, if any, under section 44AB of the Income-tax Act, 1961; and
(vi) any other relevant record, for the scrutiny by the officer or audit party or the chartered accountant or cost accountant within a period not exceeding fifteen working days from the day when such demand is made, or such further period as may be allowed by the said officer or the audit party or the chartered accountant or cost accountant.
Section 132: Punishment for certain offences
Sec. 132(2): Where any person convicted of an offence under this section is again convicted of an offence under this section, then, he shall be punishable for the second and for every subsequent offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and with fine.
Sec. 132(3): The imprisonment referred to in clauses (i), (ii) and (iii) of sub-section (1) and sub-section (2) shall, in the absence of special and adequate reasons to the contrary to be recorded in the judgment of the Court, be for a term not less than six months.
Sec. 132(4): Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), all offences under this Act, except the offences referred to in sub-section (5) shall be non-cognizable and bailable.
Sec. 132(5): The offences specified in clause (a) or clause (b) or clause (c) or clause (d) of sub-section (1) and punishable under clause (i) of that sub-section shall be cognizable and non-bailable.
Sec. 132(6): A person shall not be prosecuted for any offence under this section except with the previous sanction of the Commissioner.