Provisions under Rule 139 of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Rules, 2017 relating to “Inspection, Search and Seizure”, are as under:
CGST Rule 139: Inspection, Search and Seizure (Chapter-XVII: INSPECTION, SEARCH AND SEIZURE)
(1) Where the proper officer not below the rank of a Joint Commissioner has reasons to believe that a place of business or any other place is to be visited for the purposes of inspection or search or, as the case may be, seizure in accordance with the provisions of section 67, he shall issue an authorisation in FORM GST INS-01 authorising any other officer subordinate to him to conduct the inspection or search or, as the case may be, seizure of goods, documents, books or things liable to confiscation.
(2) Where any goods, documents, books or things are liable for seizure under sub-section (2) of section 67, the proper officer or an authorised officer shall make an order of seizure in FORM GST INS-02.
(3) The proper officer or an authorised officer may entrust upon the the owner or the custodian of goods, from whose custody such goods or things are seized, the custody of such goods or things for safe upkeep and the said person shall not remove, part with, or otherwise deal with the goods or things except with the previous permission of such officer.
(4) Where it is not practicable to seize any such goods, the proper officer or the authorised officer may serve on the owner or the custodian of the goods, an order of prohibition in FORM GST INS-03 that he shall not remove, part with, or otherwise deal with the goods except with the previous permission of such officer.
(5) The officer seizing the goods, documents, books or things shall prepare an inventory of such goods or documents or books or things containing, inter alia, description, quantity or unit, make, mark or model, where applicable, and get it signed by the person from whom such goods or documents or books or things are seized.
It may be noted that the above information is based on Updated CGST Rules 2017 (amended upto 5th May 2020), as compiled/ shared by CBIC (i.e. as notified/ amended upto 5th May 2020 by the CBIC). However, for detailed/ official information and/ or subsequent updates, please refer relevant Notifications. E&OE
Further, it may be noted that Rules 139 to 162 (pertaining to various Chapters) of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Rules, 2017 were initially notified by CBIC vide CGST (3rd Amendment) Rules, 2017 Notification No. 15/2017 Central Tax dt. 1 July 2017, applicable w.e.f. 1 July 2017.
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