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Arrest is not necessary in every GST case, Supreme Court told the Center


VIS, New Delhi: The Supreme Court has told the Central Government that arrest is not necessary in all cases related to the GST Act. Arrest should be made only when there is solid evidence and material available for arrest on the basis of which conviction can be proved. The Supreme Court made this comment while reserving its verdict after hearing the petition challenging the constitutional validity of the provisions of the GST Act.

Arrest should be made only when there is solid basis – Court

The Supreme Court told Additional Solicitor General SV Raju that the GST Act does not say that it is necessary to make an arrest to complete the investigation. This is not the purpose of the law. You are not required to get arrested in every GST case. Arrest can be made only when there is credible solid ground for it. Justice Sanjeev Khanna, Justice M.M. A bench of Justice Sundaresh and Justice Bela M Trivedi reserved its verdict on the petitions.

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Question on arrest provisions in GST law

The bench, which asked Raju several questions on the provisions of arrest under the GST law, said that the law itself has placed freedom on a high pedestal. It should not be weakened. On this, the Additional Solicitor General said that most of the arrests are made during investigation because no arrest can be made in a case after the investigation is completed. He said that arrest is not based on mere suspicion, it is done when there is reason to believe that it indicates the commission of a serious crime.

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Supreme Court reserved the decision

The Supreme Court said it will examine the question of ‘reason to believe’ and ‘grounds for arrest’ under the Customs Act and the GST Act. The top court said that while there have been many cases of arbitrariness on the part of GST officials, there are also cases of wrongdoing on the part of taxpayers. The bench said that it will keep all these aspects in mind while giving its decision.

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