Cash included in the definition of things, can be seized in GST search: MP HC.

19 Sept 2020

Cash included in the definition of things, can be seized in GST search: MP HC.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court has ruled that Section 67(2) of the central Goods and services Tax Act, 2017 empowers the competent officer to seize not only goods, documents or books, but they can also seize cash or money as the same is included within the meaning of term ‘things’ appearing in Section 67(2). Section 67(2), on the power of inspection, search and seizure, in its sub-section (2) provides that, where the proper officer, not below the rank of joint commissioner, has reasons to believe that any goods liable to confiscate or any documents or books or things, which in his opinion shall be useful for or relevant to any proceeding under this Act, are secreted in any place, he may authorize any other officer of central tax to search and seize or may himself search and seize such goods, documents or books or things.

A two judge bench comprising of Justice S C Shukla and Justice Shailendra Sharma explained that the word ‘things’ keeping in view its dictionary meaning, includes cash/money and it is a well settled preposition of law that in interpreting a statute the court must adopt that construction which suppresses the mischief and advances the remedy. “This is a rule laid down in Heydon’s case, also know as the rule of purposive construction or mischief rule”, said the bench