Gujarat HC upholds Provincial Attachment of Bank Accounts involved in generation of fraudulent e-way bills

The High Court of Gujarat has upheld that provincial attachment of bank accounts accused involved in bogus billing and fake generation of e-way bills. The petitioner claimed that tax authorities provisionally attached the bank accounts of the petitioners under section 83 of the Gujarat Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 maintained with respondents’ banks without intimating the petitioners about their action of attaching such bank accounts of the petitioners. The petitioners stated that the Commissioner of State Tax failed to form an opinion to pass the order of provisional attachment for the purpose of protecting the interest of Government Revenue. The petitioner further stated that the tax authority failed to consider whether the petitioners would be able to pay the tax dues after completion of the assessment proceedings.

The Gujarat High Court held that the petitioners were involved in the activity of bogus billing and fraudulent generation of e-way bills. As such, it cannot be said that the impugned orders passed for provisional attachment are used as a tool to harass the petitioners or it would have irreversible detrimental effect on the business of the petitioners. The Court further held that the petitioners have misused the provisions under the GGST Act by generating fraudulent e-way bills to claim ITC. As such, the court said that no interference is required to be made in exercise of powers under section 83 of the GGST Act by the respondent authorities while exercising extraordinary powers under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India by provincially attaching the bank account.

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