O R D E R
CM No.14631/2023 (for exemption)
1. Exemption is allowed, subject to all just exceptions.
2. The application is disposed of.
W.P.(C) 3752/2023 & CMNo.14630/2023
3. The petitioners (who are married to each other) have filed the present petition, inter alia, praying as under:
“(a) to issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ; order or directions, to the respondents directing them to carry out their investigations in accordance with law and more specifically to videograph the statement recording process of the petitioners and further not to harass the petitioners and not to insist upon the petitioners/ their partnership firm to deposit any amount during investigation without there being any final determination of any GST liability and thereby conduct a fair investigation;”
4. A search was conducted by the respondent on the factory premises of the partnership firm constituted by the petitioners, as well as at their residence on 03.02.2023 at about 7:45 AM.
5. The petitioners state that thereafter at about 11:30 AM, the officers of the respondent department took the petitioners to their office at Sector-6, Dwarka, New Delhi. It is stated that, subsequently, petitioner no.2 was allowed to leave the premises at about 5:30 PM.
6. The petitioners allege that petitioner no.1 was illegally detained by the officers of the respondent. He was subsequently arrested. Petitioner no.1 was produced before the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate on 04.02.2023. Subsequently, petitioner no.2 was also arrested.
7. Both the petitioners were granted bail on 17.02.2023 and were released from judicial custody on 22.02.2023.
8. The petitioners have raised several allegations in this petition, however, their prayers are limited to seeking that their interaction with the officers of the respondent, while recording their statements, be videographed; the respondents be directed not to harass the petitioners; and, to not insist on payment of any amount by the petitioners during investigation.
9. Mr. Harpreet Singh, learned counsel appearing for the respondent on advance notice, submits that he has no objection to the petitioners’ request for videography and the same be granted. He submits that the officers of the respondent will not take any steps other than in accordance with law. He also submits that videography of recording of their statements will also obviate any allegation of harassment. Insofar as deposit of any amount is concerned, he states that there will be no insistence on the part of the respondent for the petitioners to deposit any amount during investigation.
10. Since the petitioners have already expressed that they do not intend to deposit any amount during the investigation, no such deposit would be made by the petitioners or accepted by the respondent without leave of this Court.
11. The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner also requests that the statement of the petitioners be recorded during the business hours. Although no prayer to this effect has been made in this petition, Mr. Harpreet Singh assures this Court that provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 will be followed.
12. In view of the above, the prayers made in the petition are allowed.
13. The petition is disposed of in the aforesaid terms. The pending application is also disposed of.