1. An order dated 09/11/2020 passed by the Assistant Commissioner (Anti-Evasion), CGST & C. Ex., Belapur Commissionerate, for provisional attachment of property under section 83 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, is under challenge in this writ petition on the ground that no proceedings are pending against the petitioner under sections 62 or 63 or 64 or 67 or 73 or 74 thereof; hence, the jurisdictional fact for issuance of the order of provisional attachment being non-existent, the impugned order is ultra vires section 83.
2. Mr. Pande, learned advocate for the petitioner relies on the Division Bench decision of this Court dated August 3, 2021 in Writ Petition (L) No. 13363 of 2021 (M/s. S.S. Offshore Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Union of India and ors.) to contend that in a similar circumstance, the order of provisional attachment was set aside and the respondent therein directed to forthwith defreeze the bank account of the petitioner.
3. On behalf of the respondents, Mr. Mishra, learned advocate relies on the decision dated July 08, 2021 in Writ Petition No. 2583 of 2021 (M/s. Jaychem Enterprise Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Additional Director General, Nagpur Zonal Unit and ors.) of the same Division Bench of this Court to contend that the petitioner ought to be relegated to the forum available under sub-rule (5) of Rule 159 of the relevant Rules, which provides an avenue to the party whose property is attached to seek revocation of such an order and have the property released from attachment.
4. We have heard learned advocates for the parties and perused the decisions cited at the bar. Mr. Mishra has not disputed that no proceedings under sections 62 or 63 or 64 or 67 or 73 or 74 have yet been initiated against the petitioner. M/s. Jaychem Enterprise Pvt. Ltd. (supra) is not applicable in the present case since no contention was raised therein to the effect that the order of provisional attachment under challenge was made when proceedings under sections 62 or 63 or 64 or 67 or 73 or 74 of the Act were not pending. On the other hand, we agree with Mr. Pande that the present case is squarely covered by the decision in M/s. S.S. Offshore Pvt. Ltd. (supra). Whilst so deciding, the Division Bench had relied on the decision of the Supreme Court reported in 2021 SCC OnLine SC 334 (Radha Krishan Industries Vs. State of Himachal Pradesh and others). The order of provisional attachment under challenge is clearly in the teeth of the decision in Radha Krishan Industries (supra).
5. In such circumstances, the order of provisional attachment dated 09/11/2020 stands set aside with further direction to the Assistant Commissioner to defreeze the bank account of the petitioner immediately. The writ petition stands allowed. There shall be no order as to costs.
6. This order would, however, not preclude the respondents to act in accordance with law.