The Delhi High Court has sought a reply of the Central government and the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) in a plea for the constitutionality of certain Sections under the Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST) Act regarding the power of arresting a person.
A notification was passed to the Central Government and the DGGI by the Bench of Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula seeking to declare Section 69 (that relates to the power to arrest a person) and Section 132 (deals with the punishment of offences where a person abets commission or commits an offence) of the CSGT as unconstitutional.
It was stated unconstitutional as there was no constitutional backing of an arrest under Section 69 and Section 132.
The bench was hearing a petition by Arun Gupta, the director of Transline Technologies Private Ltd. which sought direction for the authorities for compliance of procedure under the CrPC for investigating into any offence.
However, the DGGI alleged Arun Gupta to have committed offences under the CGST Act amounting to Rs. 13 crores by issuing fake invoices without the supply of goods.
Arun Gupta further asked the authorities to not take any insistent action against him.
Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, the lawyer of Arun Gupta, brought before the court a video clip asserting that the DGGI officials were purportedly slapping the petitioner’s employee and also played an audio clip of the call recording.
On receiving the audio and video clip, the High Court instructed the authorities not to arrest Arun Gupta until 22nd December and to de-seal his residence and godown.
The High Court stated that “Keeping in view the peculiar facts of this case, in particular the audio visual tapes placed on record as well as the ‘no coercive steps’ orders passed by the Apex Court in…, this court directs that till the next date of hearing the petitioner shall not be arrested.”
Therefore, the Delhi High Court sought a reply from the Centre and DGGI on the plea challenging the constitutional validity of some of the provisions under the CGST Act.