Assessee entitled to make Copy of Seized Documents: Calcutta HC

The Calcutta High Court in a ruling has held that the taxpayer is empowered to make a copy of the seized document under Section 67 (5) under Chapter XIV of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017. The appellant in their submission to the Calcutta HC had claimed that they are not in a position to participate in proceedings if they weren't allowed to make copies of the seized documents by the respondent GST authority.

According to Section 37, the person from whose custody any documents are seized under sub-section (2) shall be entitled to make copies thereof or take extracts therefrom in the presence of an authorised officer at such place and time as such officer may indicate in this behalf except were making such copies or taking such extracts may, in the opinion of the proper officer, prejudicially affect the investigation. However, the respondent authority argued that as no date has been fixed for hearing, the appeal along with the applications are premature and should be dismissed. The Calcutta HC directed the appellant to follow steps in terms of Section 67 subsection 5 under Chapter XIV of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 if he is so advised. If the appellant takes steps as per subsection 5 of Section 67 under Chapter XIV of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, then the respondent no. 3 is directed to allow the appellant/petitioner to make copies of the seized documents by July 13, 2020, subject to compliance of statutory formalities.

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