FM Guidelines for Investigations, Arrests, and Bail under the GST Act

A set of rules outlining the requirements for investigations, summonses, arrests, and bail processes under the Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, for violating GST laws, have been released by the Finance Ministry. These guidelines provide that an arrest in a GST-related offence can only be undertaken if the amount involved exceeds Rs 2 crore and the tax authorities have grounds to believe that the suspect is capable of tampering with the evidence. Additionally, the senior management will not be called from the outset.

These recommendations further said that the Criminal Penal Code (CrPC) arrest procedures must be followed if an accused person needs to be detained for violating the GST Act. The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) must receive information about arrests made in accordance with the Act each month.

Officials are required to issue summons in accordance with the GST Act, but they must also make sure that they are issued judiciously. Instances where a letter of requisition would be sufficient rather than a summon are also encouraged to be considered by the authorities.

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