Supreme Court: GST Defaulters can be arrested without FIR

Supreme Court: GST Defaulters can be arrested without FIR

August 30, 2019

By Rupin Chopra and Vikram Narula

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Union of India Vs Sapna Jain & Ors[1] has directed the High Courts to not grant anticipatory bail to all those who have defaulted under the Goods and Services Tax (hereinafter referred to as ‘GST’), reiterating that the Apex Court has already upheld the Telangana High Court’s decision to not grant bail to the defaulters.

On April 18, 2019, a division bench of the Hon’ble Telangana High Court had upheld that the Commissioner of Central Goods and Services Tax (hereinafter referred to as ‘CGST’) has the power to arrest, and denied interim relief to the violators of the CGST Act, 2017. Subsequently, the Apex Court dismissed an appeal against the order of the High Court.

The Central Government had filed a number of appeals in the Supreme Court against the orders passed by the Bombay High Court which granted anticipatory bail to the persons who had violated the CGST Act, 2017 on the ground that no FIR was registered by the CGST officials as required under the Criminal Procedure Code. In the said matter, the Court further added that since the Bombay High Court has granted pre-arrest bail to the accused, the Supreme Court is not inclined to intervene at this stage.

The Apex Court also mentioned that in future the High Courts should keep in mind that the Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the Telangana High Court to dismiss a plea seeking anticipatory bail for a GST defaulter.

 

[1] SLP(Crl.) Nos. 4322-4324/2019

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