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GST Department not justified in provisionally attaching the bank accounts of petitioner's wife, mother and son as well : Accounts released by High Court. 

Pre-assessment attachment of property, including bank account, even if provisional, is a drastic measure. Its sole purpose is to protect the interest of government revenue. It cannot be used as a punitive measure. It is a serious invasion into the private domain of a tax payer. Therefore, to ensure that the said power is exercised after due consideration and in a reasonable manner as well as to provide an opportunity to the tax payer to satisfy the Commissioner that such attachment is unnecessary and therefore should be lifted, provision for objection, hearing and release is provided in sub-rule (5).

From a careful analysis of the above provisions what is to be noted is that the property including the bank account liable to or which has been provisionally attached must belong to the taxable person. ‘Taxable person’ has been defined in section 2(107) of the CGST Act to mean a person who is registered or is liable to be registered under sections 22 or 24 of the CGST Act.

 

Facts of Case

By This petition, petitioner seeks quashing of communication issued by the Assistant Commissioner (Anti-Evasion), CGST and Central Excise to the Branch Manager, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. for provisional attachment of property under section 83 of CGST Act, 2017.

Though a number of prayers have been made, principal grievance of the petitioner is the attachment of bank accounts not only of him but also of his family members. The details of attached bank account are as below.

Sr.No.

Account Name

1

Gurudada Trading Co. (Mother's Firm)

2

Gandhi International

3

Dharmesh H Gandhi

4

Dharmesh H Gandhi

5

Bharti H Gandhi (Mother)

6

Pranjal D Gandhi (Wife)

7

Pranjal D Gandhi (Wife)

8

Shaalin D Gandhi (Son)

9

Shaaling D Gandhi (Son)

 

Held by High Court

After hearing the matter at some length, we find that out of the nine bank accounts that have been attached, only the accounts at Sr. Nos.2, 3 and 4 belong to the petitioner whereas the other accounts belong to the family members, namely, Bharti H. Gandhi (mother), Pranjal D. Gandhi (wife) and Shaalin D. Gandhi (son).

Having regard to the above and on due consideration, we pass the following orders :-

I) The bank accounts at Sr. Nos.1 and 5 to 9 as per statement in paragraph 3 herein-above shall be released from provisional attachment forthwith.

II) In so far the bank accounts of the petitioner at Sr. Nos.2, 3 and 4 in the said statement are concerned, petitioner may file objection before the Commissioner i.e. respondent No.2 within a period of seven days from today.

III) If such objection is filed as above, respondent No.2 shall afford an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner and thereafter pass an appropriate order in accordance with law within a period of three weeks from the date of filing of objection.

IV) Since we have not examined or decided anything on merit, all contentions are kept open.



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Published by

TaxReply

on Mar 23, 2021


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