- Supreme Court has decided to examine the power of the government officials to arrest persons for Good and Services Tax (GST) evasion.
- The court observed that different high courts had taken different views in granting anticipatory bail to individuals accused of GST evasion and therefore, it needs to decide the question of law on the power of arrest.
- This order comes after the central government had approached the Supreme Court challenging the order of Bombay High Court which said that an accused person can be arrested only in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Code of Criminal Procedure(CrPc).
- The Centre in its petition had said that the procedure entailed under the CrPC is for police officers and not for officers of the GST commissionerate.
- In contrast to the opinion of Bombay High Court,Telangana High Court had upheld the powers of the GST commissionerate to arrest people suspected of evading payment of GST and also to invoke penal provisions under the law.
- The Telangana court had upheld the Section 69 of the CGST Act which empowered the GST commissioner to order the arrest of a person when such a person is believed to have committed a cognizable and non-bailable offence.Further,the Supreme Court had also upheld this Telangana High Court verdict.
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