Arrest under GST Act-Supreme Court says High courts have to keep in mind the recent dismissal of SLP by it on the subject. Position in law to be clarified
ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 2976 (2019) (05) SC
The other day the Hon’ble Supreme Court had dismissed the SLP filed by the Petitioners against the judgment passed by the High Court declining to grant stay on arrest under GST Act.
Please note that in the above said case, the issue before the High Court was not if the arrest under GST Act can be made without First Information Report (FIR)? but the real issue was whether Article 226 can be used as a substitute to section 438 Cr.P.C?
However in a similar case, the Hon’ble Supreme Court had admitted the SLP filed by the Union of India against the order passed by another High Court granting relief to the assessee and directing the GST authorities not to take coercive action against the Petitioner.
While admitting the bunch of the SLPs on the similar issues, the Apex Court observed that as different High Courts of the country have taken divergent views in the matter, the position in law should be clarified by it.
In all the SLPs filed by the Government, the accused-respondents had been granted the privilege of pre-arrest bail by the High Courts. However, rhe Hon’ble Supreme Court, at this stage, declined to interfere with the same.
However, the Hon’ble Supreme Court clarified that the High Courts while entertaining such request in future, will keep in mind that the Apex Court had dismissed the special leave petition filed against the judgment and order of a High Court in a similar matter, wherein the High Court had taken a view contrary to what has been held by the High Court in the present cases.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court has directed the cases be listed before a full Bench of three Judges.