Sealing & De-sealing of the premises of Dealer during DVAT Survey
In line with the directions of Hon’ble High Court Delhi, the DVAT Deptt has prescribed specific procedure which is required to be adopted for de-sealing of the business premises, sealed during Enforcement Survey, etc. Earlier, the process of Survey and Sealing was prescribed by DVAT Deptt.
In line with the directions of Hon’ble High Court Delhi, in the matter of Sh. Narender Singh Vs. Deptt. of T&T (in WP(C)1627/2017), the following procedure is required to be adopted for de-sealing of the business premises, which are sealed in the event of Enforcement Survey etc. by the officers of the Department of Trade & Taxes:-
(i) If the Dealer concerned whose business premise has been sealed does not turn up for de-sealing of the same within a reasonable time, then he should be intimated through a notice, at his last known address, regarding De-sealing process to be undertaken. Even then, if the dealer concerned does not turn up with the request for de-sealing, the department will publicize the same in the leading newspaper for the intimation of the dealer and all concerned. If the dealer still does not turn up with the request for de-sealing/or the landlord requests for getting the sealed premises vacated, the department may go on to de-seal the said premise.
(ii) The process of de-sealing should be conducted in the presence of two independent witnesses and one of them should be area SDM/ Executive Magistrate. The inventory of the goods seized, lying inside the premises, should be prepared in the presence of these witnesses and to be duly signed by them. The entire process should be Videographed.
(iii) Consequent upon de-sealing of the premises, the Goods seized should be kept in the custody of Malkhanas of concerned Revenue District, for want of sufficient infrastructure in VAT department.
(iv) The Landlord requesting for de-sealing should be asked to furnish an indemnity bond and affidavit to the department.
(v) After assessment of the dealer, if he fails to pay the due liability of tax, interest and penalty, the process for recovery of Govt. dues including disposal of such seized goods shall be carried out as per the relevant provisions of DVAT Act and rules made there-under.
1. Section 60 of the Delhi Value Added Tax Act, 2004 empowers the Commissioner to enter premises and seize records and goods of any person during surveys. The surveys are to be conducted on the premises of a dealer to detect tax evasion. The survey teams are headed by an officer of the level of Assistant Commissioner/VATO and comprises of AVATOs & VATIs. The size of the team depends upon the number of premises and size of the dealer to be surveyed.
2. The survey team can seize incriminating documents and any other unaccounted papers found during search. A proper acknowledgement of the seized goods and papers is to be given to the dealer after the survey. If the dealer refuses to cooperate or obstructs the team, then the premises can be sealed for such activities. The business activities of the dealer come to stand still after sealing of the premises. The sealed property can be de-sealed after satisfying the provisions of sub-section (4) of section 60 and rule 23 of Delhi Value Added Tax Rules, 2005.
3. Sometimes, it happens that the survey team may not be able to complete the task due to inadequate staff even after normal business hours. After assessing the situation, the team can abandon the search operation in consultation with his supervisory officer to resume the same next day. The premises should be locked and a seal/mark may also be affixed a security measure. Posting of a security guard can also be considered if need so arises. The survey can be resumed next day from the stage it was left on previous day. In this way, business of the dealer remains affected.