Court summons GST officer over detention of tax consultant

Immigration Detention | Human Rights First
Honest taxpayers & consultants bearing the brunt of Departmental misconduct and high-handedness

The Gujarat high court on Wednesday ordered an officer of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) to remain present in court on Thursday morning and bring along a tax consultant, who allegedly was in the department’s custody for the past five days without being produced before a judicial magistrate.
According to petitioner Sanjay Patel, his brother Hitesh Patel, a tax consultant from Ahmedabad involved in work related to gumasta licence, was called by GST officer B D Trivedi on Friday afternoon. He claimed that, since then, the family had not been allowed to contact Hitesh. Sanjay alleged that he was permitted to give two pairs of clothes for Hitesh to a GST officer at the main gate of the GST office building on March 20, but was not allowed to meet his brother.

During the hearing, the petitioner’s advocate submitted that Hitesh had been detained on March 18, but was not produced before a magistrate. The case was mentioned before the court on Wednesday morning and the court agreed to hear it in the afternoon. Ten minutes before the hearing, the petitioner received a call from an unknown person informing him that Hitesh was being produced before the magistrate.
The petitioner’s advocate contended that the GST officer’s behavior was in violation of the guidelines issued to safeguard the interest of a detainee in police custody according to two Supreme Court orders in D K Basu and Vimal Goswami cases. He argued that if the guidelines are meant for the police, the same is applicable to other agencies as well.

Summoning the GST officer, the bench of Justice Sonia GOkani and Justice Mauna Bhatt also directed him to show how guidelines laid down in the SC orders were complied with in this case.

Our View: This high-handedness by the GST Officers is the reason why courts are reprimanding Revenue Authorities wherein Principles of Natural Justice have been completely ignored and Guidelines have been violated.

Category: SDY & Co.

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