Section 144 of CGST Act, 2017 read with Section 145 of CGST Act, 2017 governs the provisions for Presumption as to documents in certain cases & Admissibility of micro films, facsimile copies of documents and computer printouts as documents and as evidence.

Following aspects are dealt in the form of questions and their answers.

1. What shall be presumed as to documents under CGST Act, 2017?

Answer- As per Section 144 of the CGST Act, 2017, where any document—

i. is produced by any person under this Act or any other law for the time being in force; or

ii. has been seized from the custody or control of any person under this Act or any other law for the time being in force; or

iii. has been received from any place outside India in the course of any proceedings under this Act or any other law for the time being in force,

and such document is tendered by the prosecution in evidence against him or any other person who is tried jointly with him, the court shall—

a) unless the contrary is proved by such person, presume—

i. the truth of the contents of such document;

ii. that the signature and every other part of such document which purports to be in the handwriting of any particular person or which the court may reasonably assume to have been signed by, or to be in the handwriting of, any particular person, is in that person’s handwriting, and in the case of a document executed or attested, that it was executed or attested by the person by whom it purports to have been so executed or attested;

b) admit the document in evidence notwithstanding that it is not duly stamped, if such document is otherwise admissible in evidence.

2. When micro films, facsimile copies of documents and computer printouts shall be Admissible as documents and as evidence?

Answer-As per Section 145 of the CGST Act, 2017,

1). Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force,—

a. a micro film of a document or the reproduction of the image or images embodied in such micro film (whether enlarged or not); or

b. a facsimile copy of a document; or

c. a statement contained in a document and included in a printed material produced by a computer, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed; or

d. any information stored electronically in any device or media, including any hard copies made of such information,

shall be deemed to be a document for the purposes of this Act and the rules made thereunder and shall be admissible in any proceedings thereunder, without further proof or production of the original, as evidence of any contents of the original or of any fact stated therein of which direct evidence would be admissible.

2) In any proceedings under this Act or the rules made thereunder, where it is desired to give a statement in evidence by virtue of this section, a certificate,—

a. identifying the document containing the statement and describing the manner in which it was produced;

b. giving such particulars of any device involved in the production of that document as may be appropriate for the purpose of showing that the document was produced by a computer,

shall be evidence of any matter stated in the certificate and for the purposes of this sub-section it shall be sufficient for a matter to be stated to the best of the knowledge and belief of the person stating it.

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