CHAPTER VII. Liability to produce Accounts and supply of Information 41. Production and inspection of accounts and documents and search of premises

Delhi Sales Tax, 1975

CHAPTER VII. Liability to produce Accounts and supply of Information 41. Production and inspection of accounts and documents and search of premises

(1) The Commissioner may, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, require any dealer 1[or any other person] –

(a) to produce before him such books of accounts, registers or documents,

(b) to furnish such information relating to the stock of goods of, or purchases, sales or delivery of goods by the dealer or any other information relating to his business , as may be deemed necessary, for the purposes of this Act.

(2)(a) All books of accounts, registers and documents relating to the stock of goods, or purchases , sales deliveries of goods by any dealer, and

(b) All goods kept in any place of business or ware-house of any dealer, 2[or at any other place for and on behalf of a dealer] shall at all reasonable times be open to inspection by the commissioner and the commissioner may take or cause to be taken such copies or extracts of the said books of accounts, registers or documents and such inventory of the goods found as appear to him necessary for the purposes of this Act.

(3) Where the Commissioner, upon information in his possession or otherwise, has reasonable ground to believe that –

(a) any person to whom a notice under this Act was issued to produce or cause to be produced, any book of accounts or other documents has omitted or failed to produce or caused to be produced such books of accounts, or other documents, as required by such notice, or

(b) any person to whom a notice as aforesaid has been or might be issued, will not, or would not, produce or caused to be produced any books of accounts or other documents which will be useful for, or relevant to , any proceeding under the Bengal Finance (Sales Tax) Act, 1941, Bengal Act (VI of 1941), as it was in force in Delhi, or under this Act, or

(c) book of accounts, registers or documents of any dealer may be destroyed , mutilated, falsified or secreted or any sales by that dealer have been or may be suppressed, 3[or any goods have not been or may not be accounted for in the books of accounts, registers or other documents required to be maintained under this Act] with a view to evade or attempt to evade payment of tax due under the Bengal Finance (Sales Tax) Act, the Commissioner or any other person appointed under sub-section (2) of section 9 if so authorised by the Commissioner may –

(i) enter and search any building or place where he has reason to suspect that books of accounts and other documents 4[or the goods] or the sale proceeds are kept;

(ii) break open the lock of any door, box, locker, safe, almirah or other receptacle for exercising the powers conferred by clause (1) where the keys thereof are not available ;

(iii) seize any such books of accounts or other documents or any inventory of goods 5[or any goods] as appear to him necessary for the purposes of this Act;

(iv) place marks of identification on any books of accounts or other documents or make or cause to be made extracts or copies therefrom ;

(v) make a note or any inventory of any such money or goods found as a result of such search 6[or place marks of identification on such goods];

(vi) seal the premises including the office, shop, godown, box, locker, sage, almirah or other receptacle if the owner or the person in occupation or in charge of such office, shop, godown, box, locker, safe, almirah, or other receptacle leaves the place or is not available or fails or refuses to open it when called upon to do so 7[or causes or attempts to cause obstruction to the Commissioner or the authorised officer in the discharge of his duties under this section.]

(4) The commissioner may requisition the services of any police officer or any public servant, or of both to assist him for all or any of the purposes specified in sub-section (3).

(5) where the Commissioner seizes, any books of accounts or other documents 8[or any goods], he shall give the dealer or the person present on his behalf, as the case may be, a receipt for the same and obtain acknowledgment of the receipt so given to him :

PROVIDED that if the dealer or person from whose custody the books of accounts or other documents 9[or the goods] are seized refuses to give an acknowledgment, the Commissioner any leave the receipt at the premises and record this fact:

PROVIDED FURTHER that the dealer or person aforesaid may file objection before the Commissioner against such search, seizure or inventory within seven days of such search, seizure or inventory.

10[(5A) Where it is not feasible to seize the accounts or other documents or the goods under sub-section (3), the Commissioner or the authorised officer, may serve on the owner or the person who is in immediate possession or control thereof, an order that he shall not remove or part with or otherwise deal with them except with the previous permission of the Commissioner or such officer.]

(6) The Commissioner shall keep in his custody the books of accounts, registers or documents seized under sub-section (3) for such period not later than the completion of all the prceedings under this Act in respect of years for which those books of accounts, registers or documets are relevant, as he considers necessary, and thereafter shall return the same to the dealer or any other person from whose custody or power they were

seized :

PROVIDED that the Commissioner may, before returning such books of accounts or other documents as aforesaid, place or cause to be placed such marks of identification thereon as appear to him to be necessary :

PROVIDED FURTHER that the Commissioner may, before returning the books of accounts and other documents, require that the dealer or the person, as the case may be, shall give written undertaking that the books of accounts and other documents shall be presented whenever required by any competent authority for any proceedings under this Act.

(7) Save as otherwise provided n this section, every search or seizure made under this section shall 11[as far as possible] be carried on in accordance with the provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), relating to searches or seizures made under that Code.

(8) The Commissioner may, for the purposes of this Act-

(a) require any person, including a banking company, post office or any officer thereof, to furnish information in relation to such points or matters or to furnish statements of accounts and affairs verified in the manner specified by him, giving information in relation to such points or matters as in his opinion will be useful for, or relevant to, any proceeding under this Act;

(b) require any person-

(i) who transports or holds in custody, for delivery to or on behalf of any dealer any goods to give any information likely to be in his possession in respect of such goods or to permit inspection thereof, as the case may be ;

(ii) who maintains or has in his possession any books of accounts, registers or documents relating to the business of a dealer to produce such books of accounts, registers or documents for inspection.

(9) 12[If any person, who transports or holds in custody for delivery to or on behalf of any dealer any goods, on being required by the Commissioner under sub-clause (i) of clause (b) of sub-section (8) of this section so to do, fails to give the information likely to be in his possession in respect of such goods or fails to permit inspection thereof, as the case may be, the Commissioner may pass any order of detention or seizure of goods in his custody or possession in respect of which the default is committed.

(10) The order of detention or seizure passed under sub-section (9) of this section shall remain in force so long as the person concerned does not furnish information required under sub-clause (i) of clause (b) of sub-section (8) or make proper arrangement for inspection of the goods under the said sub-section.

(11) If any person, who transports or holds in custody for delivery to or on behalf of any dealer any goods, on being required by the Commissioner under sub-clause (i) of clause (b) of sub-section (8) of this section so to do, fails to give any information likely to be in his possessions in respect of such goods or fails to permit inspection thereof, as the case may be, without prejudice to any other action which may be taken against such person, a presumption may be raised that the goods, in respect of which he was failed to furnish information or permit inspection, were meant for sale by him and he is a dealer liable to pay tax under this Act and the provisions of this Act shall apply accordingly.

(12) If any person commits default under clause (a) or sub-clause (ii) of clause (b) of sub-section (8) of this section, the Commissioner may, without prejudice to any other action which may be taken against such person under any other provision of this Act, direct, after giving an opportunity of being heard to such person that such person shall pay by way of penalty a sum not exceeding fifty thousand rupees.

(13) If the Commissioner is satisfied that any person on being required by him so to do, has failed to furnish the information in respect of the goods in his custody for delivery to or on behalf of any dealer or to permit inspection thereof under subclause (i) of clause (b) of sub-section (8) of this section, the Commissioner may, by order in writing and after giving opportunity of being heard to such person, impose by way of penalty a sum not exceeding three and a half time the amount of tax leviable under this Act on the goods in respect of which the default was committed.

(14) Where an order of detention or seizure of goods is made under the provisions of this section, the Commissioner or the officer so authorised in this behalf may release the goods on such person exercising the option of paying by way of penalty such sum as may be directed, not exceeding three and a half times the amount of tax leviable on such goods under this Act.

(15) Where any premises including the office, shop, godown, box, locker, safe, almirah or other receptacle have been sealed under sub-section (3) of this section, the Commissioner, on an application made by the owner or the person in occupation or in charge of such shop, godown, box, locker, safe, almirah or other receptacle, may order de-sealing thereof on such terms and conditions including furnishing of security for such sum in such form and manners as may be directed.

(16) Where an order of detention of seizure of goods is made under this section and no claims lodged by any person with respect to such goods within a period of three months from the date of such order, the Commissioner may, by order in writing, direct the auction of such goods:

PROVIDED that if the goods, in respect of which an order of detention or seizure is made, are of a perishable nature or subject to speed and natural decay or when the expenses of keeping them in custody are likely to exceed their value, the same may be ordered to be auctioned as soon as it is practicable soon after an order of detention or seizure of such goods is made; and the amount so realised by the auction of goods shall be remitted in the Government reasury immediately.

(17) Where an order imposing penalty is passed under sub-section (13) or an option of paying penalty is exercised under sub-section (14) of this section and the person liable fails to pay the penalty within the prescribed period, the goods detained or seized may be sold by public auction and the sale proceeds deposited in Government Treasury.

(18) Auction of goods to be made under sub-section (16) or sub-section (17) of this section shall be carried out in the manner prescribed for disposal of goods under sub-section (6) of section 64 of this Act.

(19) Any person entitled to the sale proceeds of goods auctioned under the provisions of this section shall, on application made to the Commissioner and upon sufficient proof, be paid the sale proceeds of the goods auctioned, after deducting the expenses of the sale and other incidental charges and the amount of sales tax and penalty leviable under this Act.

(20) No action shall lie for damages or for any other claim by any person against the Commissioner or any other officer authorised in this behalf for anything done in good faith in discharge of their duties under this section.]

41A[13 Furnishing of information by owners of cold stores, warehouses, godowns, etc.

(1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law for the time being in force every owner or lessee of a cold store, warehouse, godown or any such place, who stores goods for hire or reward shall maintain or cause to be maintained a correct and complete account indicating the full particulars of the person whose goods are stored and the quantity, value, date of delivery of such goods.

(2) Such accounts shall, on demand, be produced before the Commissioner or any officer authorised in this behalf who may take or cause to be taken such extracts therefrom or require such extracts to be furnished as he may consider necessary.

(3) If any owner or lessee of a cold store, warehouse, godown or any other such place, who stores goods for hire or reward, contravenes any of the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) in a manner likely to lead to evasion of any tax payable under this Act, the Commissioner may, without prejudice to any other action which may be taken against such owner or lessee under any other provision of this Act, direct, after giving an opportunity of being heard, that such owner or lessee shall pay by way of penalty a sum not exceeding three and a half times the tax, leviable on the goods in respect of which default is committed under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2).]

1. Inserted vide Delhi Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Act, 2000, dt.19.2.2001 w.e.f. 19.2.2001.
2. Inserted vide Delhi Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Act, 2000, dt.19.2.2001 w.e.f. 19.2.2001.
3. Inserted vide Delhi Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Act, 2000, dt.19.2.2001 w.e.f. 19.2.2001.
4. Inserted vide Delhi Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Act, 2000, dt.19.2.2001 w.e.f. 19.2.2001.
5. Inserted vide Delhi Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Act, 2000, dt.19.2.2001 w.e.f. 19.2.2001.
6. Inserted vide Delhi Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Act, 2000, dt.19.2.2001 w.e.f. 19.2.2001.
7. Inserted vide Delhi Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Act, 2000, dt.19.2.2001 w.e.f. 19.2.2001.
8. Inserted vide Delhi Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Act, 2000, dt.19.2.2001 w.e.f. 19.2.2001.
9. Inserted vide Delhi Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Act, 2000, dt.19.2.2001 w.e.f. 19.2.2001.
10. Inserted vide Delhi Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Act, 2000, dt.19.2.2001 w.e.f. 19.2.2001.
11. Inserted vide Delhi Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Act, 2000, dt.19.2.2001 w.e.f. 19.2.2001.
12. Sub-section (9) to (20) were inserted vide Delhi Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Act, 2000. dt.19.2.2001 w.e.f. 19.2.2001.
13. Section 41A was inserted vide Delhi Sales Tax (Second Amendment) Act, 2000, dt. 19.2.2001.

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