Section 67 - Power of inspection, search and seizure of CGST ACT, 2017

                67. (1) Where the proper officer, not below the rank of Joint Commissioner, has reasons
to believe that––
                          (a) a taxable person has suppressed any transaction relating to supply of goods
or services or both or the stock of goods in hand, or has claimed input tax credit in
excess of his entitlement under this Act or has indulged in contravention of any of the
provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder to evade tax under this Act; or
                          (b) any person engaged in the business of transporting goods or an owner or
operator of a warehouse or a godown or any other place is keeping goods which have
escaped payment of tax or has kept his accounts or goods in such a manner as is likely
to cause evasion of tax payable under this Act,
he may authorise in writing any other officer of central tax to inspect any places of business
of the taxable person or the persons engaged in the business of transporting goods or the
owner or the operator of warehouse or godown or any other place.
                   (2) Where the proper officer, not below the rank of Joint Commissioner, either pursuant
to an inspection carried out under sub-section (1) or otherwise, has reasons to believe that
any goods liable to confiscation or any documents or books or things, which in his opinion
shall be useful for or relevant to any proceedings under this Act, are secreted in any place, he
may authorise in writing any other officer of central tax to search and seize or may himself
search and seize such goods, documents or books or things:
             Provided that where it is not practicable to seize any such goods, the proper officer, or
any officer authorised by him, may serve on the owner or the custodian of the goods an order
that he shall not remove, part with, or otherwise deal with the goods except with the previous
permission of such officer:
            Provided further that the documents or books or things so seized shall be retained by
such officer only for so long as may be necessary for their examination and for any inquiry or
proceedings under this Act.
                (3) The documents, books or things referred to in sub-section (2) or any other
documents, books or things produced by a taxable person or any other person, which have
not been relied upon for the issue of notice under this Act or the rules made thereunder, shall
be returned to such person within a period not exceeding thirty days of the issue of the said
notice.
                (4) The officer authorised under sub-section (2) shall have the power to seal or break
open the door of any premises or to break open any almirah, electronic devices, box, receptacle
in which any goods, accounts, registers or documents of the person are suspected to be
concealed, where access to such premises, almirah, electronic devices, box or receptacle is
denied.
                 (5) 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 anauthorised officer at such place and time as such officer may indicate in this behalf except
where making such copies or taking such extracts may, in the opinion of the proper officer,
prejudicially affect the investigation.
                 (6) The goods so seized under sub-section (2) shall be released, on a provisional
basis, upon execution of a bond and furnishing of a security, in such manner and of such
quantum, respectively, as may be prescribed or on payment of applicable tax, interest and
penalty payable, as the case may be.
                (7) Where any goods are seized under sub-section (2) and no notice in respect thereof
is given within six months of the seizure of the goods, the goods shall be returned to the
person from whose possession they were seized:
              Provided that the period of six months may, on sufficient cause being shown, be
extended by the proper officer for a further period not exceeding six months.
               (8) The Government may, having regard to the perishable or hazardous nature of any
goods, depreciation in the value of the goods with the passage of time, constraints of
storage space for the goods or any other relevant considerations, by notification, specify
the goods or class of goods which shall, as soon as may be after its seizure under
sub-section (2), be disposed of by the proper officer in such manner as may be prescribed.
               (9) Where any goods, being goods specified under sub-section (8), have been seized
by a proper officer, or any officer authorised by him under sub-section (2), he shall prepare
an inventory of such goods in such manner as may be prescribed.
               (10) The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, relating to search and
seizure, shall, so far as may be, apply to search and seizure under this section subject to the
modification that sub-section (5) of section 165 of the said Code shall have effect as if for the
word “Magistrate”, wherever it occurs, the word “Commissioner” were substituted.
               (11) Where the proper officer has reasons to believe that any person has evaded or is
attempting to evade the payment of any tax, he may, for reasons to be recorded in writing,
seize the accounts, registers or documents of such person produced before him and shall
grant a receipt for the same, and shall retain the same for so long as may be necessary in
connection with any proceedings under this Act or the rules made thereunder for prosecution.
              (12) The Commissioner or an officer authorised by him may cause purchase of any
goods or services or both by any person authorised by him from the business premises of
any taxable person, to check the issue of tax invoices or bills of supply by such taxable
person, and on return of goods so purchased by such officer, such taxable person or any
person in charge of the business premises shall refund the amount so paid towards the
goods after cancelling any tax invoice or bill of supply issued earlier.

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