2. By filing this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, petitioners seek quashing of letter/intimation dated 09.02.2021 of the 1st respondent to the 3rd respondent invoking power under Section 83 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (briefly referred to hereinafter as the ‘CGST Act’) provisionally attaching the bank account of the petitioners being Account No.05861050024509 maintained with the 3rd respondent.
3. Without entering into any contention on merit, it is seen that the order of provisional attachment is dated 09.02.2021 and one year has already expired.
4. On 07.04.2022, we had passed the following order:
“Petitioner challenges provisional attachment of bank account under Section 83 of the Central Goods And Services Tax Act, 2017.
The provisional attachment was made on 09.02.2021 and the period of one year has expired.
Ms. Sapna Reddy, learned counsel appearing on behalf of Mr. B.Narasimha Sarma to get instructions.
List the matter as first item on 22.04.2022.”
5. After a couple of adjournments, respondent Nos.1 & 2 have filed affidavit. Stand taken in the affidavit is that provisional attachment order was passed under Section 83 of the CGST Act as an opinion was formed by the proper officer that such provisional attachment was justified on account of fraudulent refund claim made by the 1st petitioner. It is stated that said provisional attachment order was reviewed by the Commissioner on 11.03.2022, whereafter provisional attachment for further period was approved.
6. Section 83 of the CGST Act provides for provisional attachment to protect revenue in certain cases. Sub-Section (1) of Section 83 of the CGST Act says that where during the pendency of any proceeding under Section 62 or Section 63 or Section 64 or Section 67 or Section 73 or Section 74 of the CGST Act, the Commissioner is of the opinion that for the purpose of protecting the interest of Government revenue, it is necessary so to do, he may by order in writing attach provisionally any property, including bank account, belonging to the taxable person in such manner as may be prescribed. As per Sub-Section (2) of Section 83 of the CGST Act, every such provisional attachment shall cease to have effect after the expiry of a period of one year from the date of the order made under Sub-Section (1) of Section 83 of the CGST Act.
7. As noticed above, in the instant case, provisional attachment was ordered on 09.02.2021. Thus, the period of one year has expired. Though a statement has been made in the counter affidavit that the provisional attachment was reviewed by the Commissioner on 11.03.2022 whereafter such attachment for further period was approved, no such order has been placed on record. In any case, Sub-Section (2) of Section 83 of the CGST Act is very clear. Every provisional attachment made under Sub-Section (1) of Section 83 of the CGST Act shall cease to have effect after expiry of a period of one year from the date of the order made under Sub-Section (1) of Section 83 of the CGST Act.
8. That being the position, we are of the considered opinion that continuance of the impugned order of provisional attachment dated 09.02.2021 cannot be sustained. The same is accordingly set aside and quashed. Respondents are directed to forthwith de-attach the aforesaid bank account of the petitioners.
9. This disposes of the Writ Petition. However, there shall be no order as to costs.
10. As a sequel, miscellaneous applications pending, if any, in this Writ Petition, shall stand closed.