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Conjoint reading of Section 2(17), 2(31), 2(75) and 67(2) makes it clear that money can also be seized by authorized officer, therefore the question of releasing the amount does not arise

Section 67 of the CGST Act, 2017— Search & Seizure—Seizure of Currency – The petitioner prayed for directing the respondents to release the cash amounting to Rs.66,43,130/- seized from the petitioner. The petitioner is the wife of Proprietor of the firm, engaged in the business of Confectionery and Pan Masala items. The petitioner submitted that the respondent has got no power vested under Section 67(2) to effect seizure of cash amount, as the cash cannot be treated as “Document, Book or Things”. The petitioner further stated that the returns could not be filed in time on account of lockdown keeping in view the Covid-19 Pandemic and sale proceeds were kept by the petitioner and her husband. The respondent submitted that the husband of the petitioner in his statement admitted that the said cash was the sale proceeds of the illegally sold Pan Masala without payment of GST. The petitioner’s contended that the word “money” is not included in Section 67(2). The Court observed that the core issue is that whether expression “things” covers within its meaning the cash or not. Section 2(17) defines “business” and Section 2(31) defines “consideration”. Thus from a conjoint reading of Section 2(17), 2(31), 2(75) and 67(2) makes it clear that money can also be seized by authorized officer. The Court relied judgment of Division Bench of this Court in the case of Sumedha Dutta & Another Vs. The Union of India & Another. The petitioner submitted that her husband retracted statement at a later stage. The Court relied the case of Surjeet Singh Chhabra Vs. Union of India reported in 1997 (89) E.L.T. 646 (S.C.), wherein it was held that “confessional statements” made before Customs Officer though retracted within six days is an admission and binding since Custom Officers are not Police Officers.
Held that:- The Hon’ble High Court dismissed the petition and held that the authorities have rightly seized the amount from the husband of the petitioner and unless and until the investigation is carried out and the matter is finally adjudicated, the question of releasing the amount does not arise.— Kanishka Matta Vs. Union of India And Others [2020] 27 TAXLOK.COM 076 (MP)

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