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What are the safeguards provided in MGL in respect of Search or Seizure?

Certain safeguards are provided in section 60 of Model CGST/SGST Law in respect of the power of search or seizure. These are as follows:

  1. Seized goods or documents should not be retained beyond the period necessary for their examination;
  2. Photocopies of the documents can be taken by the person from whose custody documents are seized;
  3. For seized goods, if a notice is not issued within sixty days of its seizure, goods shall be returned to the person from whose possession it was seized. This period of sixty days can be extended on justified grounds up to a maximum period of six months;
  4. An inventory of seized goods shall be made by the seizing officer;
  5. Certain categories of goods to be specified under Model GST Rules (such as perishable, hazardous etc.) can be disposed of immediately after seizure;
  6. Provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 relating to search and seizure shall apply. However, one important modification is in relation to sub-section (5) of section 165 of Code of Criminal Procedure – instead of sending copies of any record made in course of search to the nearest Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence, it has to be sent to the Principal Commissioner/ Commissioner of CGST/ Commissioner of SGST .