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Does the officer have the power to confiscate cell phones?
The first and foremost thing that officers do in various investigative cases is to confiscate cell phones. Laws like the IPC operate on a different basis than the tax laws.
There was an interesting case in the Gujarat High Court in the case of Prakashsinh Hatisinh Udawat v. State of Gujarat, (2019) 112 taxmanncom 124 on the powers of GST authorities in relation to GST.
It may be noted that the right to seizure is a right to personal liberty enshrined in the Constitution and is therefore subject to various restrictions and regulations.
In GST it may be noted that Section 67 (2) provides that an officer not below the rank of Joint Commissioner may authorize in writing any other officer to search and seize such
“Thing” is a word with immense power, and that can extend to mobile devices as well. However, the exercise of the power under section 83 to obtain property is subject to the condition that any proceedings must be taken under any of the following sections:
Both the above conditions must be fulfilled simultaneously before the power can be exercised. If both conditions are met, the right of confiscation is exercised.