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Tax evasion over Rs 5 crore will be non-bailable offence under new GST regime

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Tax evasion of over five crore rupees under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime would be non-bailable offence with the police having the authority to make an arrest without a warrant.

The Central GST (CGST) Act provides that if the offences 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 5 crore rupees, shall be cognizable and non-bailable.

In a 223-page Frequently asked questions(FAQ) on GST, the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) said other offences under the act are non-cognizable and bailable.

The government has set a target date of 1st of July for roll out of the GST, which will subsume central excise, service tax, VAT and other local levies.

As per the FAQ, cognizable offence means serious category of offences in respect of which a police officer has the authority to make an arrest without a warrant and to start an investigation with or without the permission of a court.

Outlining the safeguards to be taken during arrest, the FAQ said if a person is arrested for a cognizable offence, he must be informed in writing of the grounds of arrest and he must be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours of his arrest.

The Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST) Act have empowered the officers from Police, Railways, Customs, village officers, and any other government officers to assist CGST and SGST officers under the GST regime.

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