Order of provisional attachment of bank account is issued on 01.03.2019, this was prior to insertion of sub-section (5) in Section 110 with effect from 1st August, 2019. Therefore, it is quite clear that this provision could not have been invoked for freezing the bank account of the petitioner.
Section 110(5) of the Customs Act — Attachment of Bank Account – The petitioner sought to unfreeze bank account of the petitioner; to set aside the alert imposed on the IEC; to set aside any direction(s) of the respondents for withholding refund of IGST. The petitioner engaged in the business of imports and exports. He bought handicraft items from various sellers in India for exports and paid GST while purchasing the goods. The petitioner is entitled to take ITC of refund under Section 16 of the IGST Act, 2017. The petitioner submitted that since 2018, the bank account of the petitioner has been frozen; besides refund claim of IGST has not been entertained for more than one year. The respondent has carried out certain investigation and statement was recorded. Till date no seizure of any goods belonging has been made nor any show cause notice has been issued. The respondent submitted that the petitioner is a fictitious and bogus company and involved in circular trading of glass bangles to avail ineligible government benefits in the form of IGST etc. The court observed that such attachment of bank account and its continuation being in breach of Section 110(5) is therefore, without any authority of law.
Held that:- The Hon’ble High Court directed the respondents to unfreeze the bank account; directed the respondents to complete the investigation into the allegations within a period of three months; placing of alert on IEC or claim of refund of IGST/GST would be subject to outcome of such investigation.