Blocking of importer exporter code of the petitioner by any authority other than the Director General of Foreign Trade or by his authorized officer would be unauthorized, unwarranted and without jurisdiction.
While exercising powers under section 83 of the CGST Act, authorities should try to balance the interest of the government revenue on the one hand and the interest of the dealer on the other hand. Bringing the business of a dealer to a halt does not in any manner serve the interest of the revenue.
Section 83 of the CGST Act — Attachment of Bank Account – The petitioner prayed for interim relief i.e. for unfreezing of the 12 bank accounts of the petitioner and family members, for a direction to the respondents to unfreeze the IEC of the petitioner. The court observed that there are two preconditions which must be satisfied before the Commissioner can exercise jurisdiction under Section 83. First precondition is pendency of any proceedings under Section 62 or Section 63 or Section 64 or Section 67 or Section 73 or Section 74 of the Act. Second precondition is that Commissioner must form an opinion that provisional attachment of any property including bank account is necessary for protecting the interest of Government revenue. The court further observed that attachment of the bank accounts is allowed only in respect of the taxable person and not of the family members. Further, blockage of IEC, the relevant statute the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 and DGFT is the proper authority.
Held that:- The Hon’ble High Court directed that bank accounts of family members shall be unfrozen forthwith, in respect of other accounts, directed the petitioner to file objection before the respondent within a period of 7 days. If such objection is filed, the respondent shall afford an opportunity of hearing and thereafter pass an appropriate order in accordance with law within a period of 3 weeks. Blockage of IEC of the petitioner by respondent shall be withdrawn forthwith. List for further consideration on 15.12.2020.