Since investigation was commenced, in the first instance, by the Gautam Budh Nagar Commissionerate, as far back on 19.03.2020, the other Intelligence units should have held their hands.
Section 67 of the CGST Act, 2017— Search and Seizure -- The petitioner sought a stay on the investigation and stave off coercive actions undertaken by the respondents. The petitioner submitted that searches have been carried out not only by the Gautam Budh Nagar Commissionerate but also by various Intelligence Units, i.e., DGGI Regional Unit Kanpur, DGGI Zonal Unit Delhi, DGGI Regional Unit Ghaziabad and DGGI Ahmadabad Zonal Unit on various dates. The petitioner counsel submitted that the investigation process was commenced, in the first instance, by the Gautam Budh Nagar Commissionerate, the investigation should have been carried out by that Commissionerate only and that other Intelligence Units ought to have held their hands. She relied upon the circular dated 05.10.2018 issued by the CBIC. The respondent counsel submitted that the circular dated 05.10.2018, will have no application since the “subject matter” is different. The court observed that once the Gautam Budh Commissionerate had taken steps to investigate the petitioner, the other Intelligence Units should have held their hands; an approach which is both sensible and practical.
Held that:-The Hon’ble High Court directed the respondents to file their within next two weeks and meanwhile no coercive measures will be taken against the petitioner. If, in the interregnum, investigation is necessitated, in line with the circular dated 05.10.2018, it shall be carried out only by the Gautam Budh Nagar Commissionerate. The search officers will ensure that there is no invasion of privacy. Listed the application on 22.04.2021.