Cash can be seized in GST search says MP High Court

The High Court of Madhya Pradesh has held that cash falls under the definition of ‘things’ and as such can be seized during a search by GST authorities. The petitioner is in the business of confectionery items and stated in their petition that GST authorities had conducted a search of their office as well as residence seizing ₹66 lakhs in the process. The petitioner has argued before the court that as per Section 67(2) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (CGST Act, 2017), tax authorities do not have the power to seize cash. The petitioner further argued that cash cannot be treated as “Document, Book or Things” as per the definition under the definition clause of the CGST Act, 2017. As such, the tax authorities must be directed to release the seized cash. Tax authorities have argued that the petitioner has been involved in large scale tax evasion under GST and that the petitioner had stated that the money seized were part of the proceeds earned on sale of confectionery items. The High Court of Madhya Pradesh held that a conjoint reading of Section 2(17), 2(31), 2(75) and 67(2) makes it clear that money can also be seized by an authorized officer as it falls under the definition of things. 

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