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Seizure of cash by GST authorities in a tax evasion investigation under GSI Act is uncalled for espe

The Apex Court has upheld the view of Kerala High Court wherein the High Court, while examining the scope of Section 67(2) of the CGST Act, has observed that though the said provision authorizes seizure of things, including cash in appropriate cases, yet it is not permissible to seize cash in cases where the same does not forms part of the stock in trade of business. Emphasizing the scope of exercise of power by authorities under Section 67(2) of CGST Act, the High Court held that the power of any authority to seize any thing' while functioning under the provisions of a taxing statute must be guided and informed in its exercise by the object of the statute concerned.

In the instant case, the High Court accepted the contention of assessee to the effect that even if the statutory provisions authorize the seizure of things from the premises of an assessee who is proceeded against under the GST Act, and the word things would include cash in appropriate cases, the instant is a case where the seizure of cash was wholly unwarranted, more so, when the cash did not form part of the stock in trade of any business stated to have been carried on ov the assessee.

The rationale afforded by Revenue for seizure of cash, despite the same not being part of the stock in trade of business. was that it is suspicious that the amount of money kept in the house of assessee as idle was not deposited at bank and further the amount received as gift on the day of marriage has not been recorded in assessed% incorne tax return. Observing that the case pertains to GST and not Income Tax Act, High Court found the rationale of Revenue as wholly irrelevant.

The observations of High Court were not interfered with by the Apex Court as such the SLP filed by Revenue was dismissed