Provisions under Section 137 of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act, 2017 relating to “Offences by Companies”, are as under:
Section 137 of CGST Act 2017: Offences by Companies (CHAPTER XIX – OFFENCES AND PENALTIES)
(1) Where an offence committed by a person under this Act is a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any negligence on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
(3) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a taxable person being a partnership firm or a Limited Liability Partnership or a Hindu Undivided Family or a trust, the partner or karta or managing trustee shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly and the provisions of sub-section (2) shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to such persons.
(4) Nothing contained in this section shall render any such person liable to any punishment provided in this Act, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
Explanation: For the purposes of this section,–
(i) “company” means a body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and
(ii) “director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.
Govt. has notified the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act, 2017 on 12 April, 2017 followed with various CBIC Notifications on commencement date for various Sections/ Provisions thereof from time to time. Govt. has further notified the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) (Amendment) Act, 2018 on 30 Aug. 2018 followed with CBIC Notification on commencement date of various Sections/ Provisions thereof from 1 Feb. 2019 vide Notification No. 2/2019 Central Tax dt. 29 Jan. 2019 except for amendments where the date of commencement is different from 1 Feb. 2019 and has specifically been mentioned in the CGST Amendment Act, 2018 itself.
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