GST Prosecution

(1) Whoever commits any of the following offences, namely— (a) supplies any goods and/or services without issue of any invoice or grossly misdeclares the description of the supply on invoice, in violation of the provisions of this Act, to intentionally evade tax; (b) issues any invoice or bill without supply of goods and/or services in violation of the provisions of this Act, or the rules made thereunder leading to wrongful availment of credit or refund of duty; (c) collects any amount as tax but fails to pay the same to the credit of the appropriate Government beyond a period of three months from the date on which such payment becomes due; (d) collects any tax in contravention of the provisions of this Act but fails to pay the same to the credit of the appropriate Government beyond a period of three months from the date on which such payment becomes due; (e) takes and/or utilizes input tax credit without actual receipt of goods and/or services either fully or partially, in violation of the provisions of this Act, or the rules made thereunder; (f) evades tax, fraudulently avails input tax credit or obtains refund by an offence not covered under clause (a) to (e); (g) falsifies or substitutes financial records or produces fake accounts and/or documents or furnishes any false information with an intention to evade payment of tax due under this Act; (h) obstructs or prevents any officer in the discharge of his duties under this Act; (i) acquires possession of, or in any way concerns himself in transporting, removing, depositing, keeping, concealing, supplying, or purchasing or in any other manner deals with, any goods which he knows or has reason to believe are liable to confiscation under this Act or the rules made thereunder; (j) receives or is in any way concerned with the supply of, or in any other manner deals with any supply of services which he knows or has reason to believe are in contravention of any provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder; (k) tampers with or destroys any material evidence or documents; (l) fails to supply any information which he is required to supply under this Act or the rules made thereunder or (unless with a reasonable belief, the burden of proving which shall be upon him, that the information supplied by him is true) supplies false information; or (m) attempts to commit, or abets the commission of, any of the offences mentioned in clauses (a) to (l) of this section; shall be punishable – (i) in cases where the amount of tax evaded or the amount of input tax credit wrongly availed or utilized or the amount of refund wrongly taken exceeds two hundred and fifty lakh rupees, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and with fine; (ii) in cases where the amount of tax evaded or the amount of input tax credit wrongly availed or utilized or the amount of refund wrongly taken exceeds one hundred lakh rupees but does not exceed two hundred and fifty lakh rupees, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine; (iii) in the case of any other offence where the amount of tax evaded or the amount of input tax credit wrongly availed or utilized or the amount of refund wrongly taken exceeds fifty lakh rupees but does not exceed one hundred lakh rupees, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with fine; (iv) in cases where he commits or abets in the commission of an offence specified in clause (h), (k) or (l), with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and/or with fine; (2) If any person convicted of an offence under this section is again convicted of an offence under this section, then, he shall be punishable for the second and for every subsequent offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and with fine: PROVIDED that in the absence of special and adequate reasons to the contrary to be recorded in the judgment of the Court, the imprisonment referred to in sub-sections (1) and (2) shall not be for a term of less than six months. (3) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), all offences under this Act, except the offences referred to in subsection (4) shall be non-cognizable. (4) The offences specified in clause (a),(b),(c),(d) or (e) of sub-section (1) relating to taxable goods and/or services where the amount of tax evaded or the amount of input tax credit wrongly availed or the amount of refund wrongly taken exceeds one hundred lakh rupees shall be cognizable and non-bailable. Explanation: The Commissioner concerned shall be the competent authority to take cognizance of the offence. (5) A person shall not be prosecuted for any offence under this section except with the previous sanction of the designated authority.