The power to summon persons to give evidence and produce documents in inquiry is a statutory function.
Section 70 of the CGST Act, 2017 – Summons –-- The petitioner sought stay of proceedings and consequential penal action, initiated pursuant to issuance of summons by the respondent under section 83 of the Finance Act, 1994 and under section 70 of the Act. The petitioner company is engaged in the business of trading in consumer goods, FMCG products. The counsel for the petitioner submitted that petitioner has apprehension of arrest and he is ready and willing to cooperate with the investigation. The respondent counsel submitted that Petitioner Company was involved in circular trading of the goods, by preparing purchase and sale invoices without actual movement/supply of goods and such circular trading involved wrongful eligibility of ITC to the parties and they have paid only Rs. 5.25 crore. The court observed that the summons have been issued calling upon the petitioner to tender oral evidence and produce documents or things. Perusal of the summons signifies that there is no threat of arrest as perceived and argued by the petitioners.
Held that:- The Hon’ble High Court directed that petitioner shall remain present before the concerned investigating officer/authority on 1st March 2021 for the purpose of inquiry and thereafter as and when required. If the petitioners cooperate in the investigation, respondents shall not take any coercive steps against the petitioners.