Supreme Court to examine arrest power of authorities
The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to examine the power of tax authorities to arrest an individual for evading Goods and Services Tax (GST).
A vacation bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued notice on two appeals filed by the Centre questioning a Bombay high court order that granted anticipatory bail to individuals and took the view that an accused cannot be arrested without following the procedure laid down under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc).
In its appeal, the Centre also attacked the emerging trend of persons accused in economic offences challenging the constitutional validity of the statutory provisions under which they are charged. The bench also said the question of law on the power of arrest would be decided by a larger bench of three judges. The need to examine the issue arose after solicitor general Tushar Mehta pointed out that the views of the Bombay HC and the Telangana HC were divergent.
Mehta said the Telangana HC’s order that individuals cannot be granted protection from arrest in such cases was upheld by the top court, which on May 27 dismissed an appeal against the same. While agreeing to set up a larger bench to give more clarity on the law, the SC asked all high courts to keep in mind its May 27 order in case it is approached for pre-arrest bail under the GST law.