EXAMPLE

The proper officer visited the business premises of taxable person on 10th July at 11.30am and commenced search by showing search warrant for unexplained and undisclosed assets. No person inside the premises at the time of commencement of search was allowed to leave the premises. The officers even break opened the lock of the safe and almirahs during the course of search and seized books of accounts, cash, tax invoice book, stock registers, attendance register, rent agreement, bank statements, pass books, hard disk and laptop. The search was completed at 4 pm and the officer immediately issued an order of seizure containing a detailed log of the search and order of prohibition for goods which were impractical to seize. A Show Cause Notice was issued to the taxable person on 24th October requiring him to show cause as to why he should not pay the amount of tax, interest u/s 50, penalty mentioned in the notice. After receiving the notice, the taxable person on 30th November asked for certain documents like rent agreement, pass books, etc to be returned which were not relied in the notice. Discuss whether seized goods which were not relied while issuing notice shall be returned or not?
 
Further what shall be the implication if the notice was issued after 6 months of order of seizure i.e., on 12th January?
 

ANSWER

As per section 67(3) of the CGST Act, the books of accounts or other documents seized by the officer or produced by a taxable person or any other person, which have not been relied upon for the issue of notice under the Act or rules made there under shall be returned not exceeding 30 days of the issue of the said notice. Since the taxable person is demanding the documents which were not relied in the notice, the same shall be returned by the department to the taxable person as early as possible.
Further if notice is issued on 12th January i.e., after 6 months of date of seizure, then the goods are liable to be returned to the taxable person from whom goods were seized but the demand shall continue and the period of show cause notice shall be the same as u/s 73, 74. As per section 67(5), where any goods are seized 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: