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57 : Establishment of check posts and erection of barriers. M.P. ACT

 

57 : Establishment of check posts and erection of barriers.
 
        (1) The State government and or the Commissioner if it or he is satisfied that it is necessary so to do with a view to prevent or check evasion of tax under this Act may, by notification, setup or erect check post or barriers at such place or places within the State excluding railway premises, as may be specified in the notification:
                           Provided that the Commissioner shall not set up a check post or erect a barrier for a period exceeding six months at a time.
       (2)(a) An officer not below the rank of a Assistant Commercial Tax Officer shall be in-charge of the check post (hereinafter referred to as the check post officer) and shall be assisted by the other category of the officers.
       (b)   Subject to the other provisions of this section a check post officer shall exercise all powers conferred on him under this section.
 
       (3)   The driver or person incharge of any vehicle or the owner or person incharge of the goods carried in a vehicle (hereinafter referred to as the transporter ) transporting such goods as may be notified by the State Government in this behalf (hereinafter referred to as the notified goods) shall carry with him an invoice, Act or challan or any other document by whatever name called relating to the notified goods being transported in the vehicle, issued by the consignor of the goods giving such particulars as may be prescribed.    
 
      (4) (a)   Every transporter transporting any notified goods shall, after entering the territory of a check post or barrier set up or erected under sub-section (1), deliver to the check post officer a declaration duly signed by the consignor in such manner, in such form and containing such particulars as may be prescribed. A separate declaration shall be filed in respect of the consignment or consignments relating to each consignee where the goods are being imported into Madhya Pradesh and of each consignor where the goods are being sent outside the State. No declaration in relation to goods to be delivered in Madhya Pradesh shall be accepted if the consignee in Madhya Pradesh is shown or described as "self" unless the full particulars and address of the person who will take delivery of the goods at the destination in Madhya Pradesh are furnished.
 
             (b)    The form of declaration specified in clause (a) shall be obtained by a registered dealer in the prescribed manner and on payment of the prescribed fee.
 
(4A) The State Government may require by notification that the documents required to be furnished under sub-section (4), shall be furnished by means of such electronic devices, and be accompanied by such processing fee, as may be specified therein.
 
      (5) The transporter shall stop the vehicle at every check post or barrier and keep it stationary for so long as may reasonably be required by the check post officer and allow him to search the vehicle and inspect the notified goods and document referred to in sub-section (3) and shall, if so required, give him his name and address and the names and addresses of the owner of the vehicle and of the consignor and the consignee of the goods.
 
      (6) The check post officer shall have the power to detain or seize such of the notified goods or the vehicle alongwith the goods, -
(a)   in respect of which there is no declaration under sub-section (4) or any such declaration filed is false or incorrect either in respect of the kind of goods or the quantity or value thereof or name and address of consignor or consignee or destination; or
(b)        As are not shown in the documents referred to in sub-section (3) or in respect whereof there are no such documents: or
(c)        In respect whereof the said documents are false or are reasonably suspected to be false:
        
      (7) If the check post officer, after searching the vehicle and verifying the documents or the declaration, finds any omissions referred to in sub-section (6), he may presume, until contrary is proved that an attempt was being made to facilitate the evasion of tax in respect of such goods and he may, after recording the reasons therefor in writing, seize such goods or the vehicle alongwith the goods in such manner as may be prescribed.  
      (8) After seizing the notified goods under sub-section (7) the check post officer shall prepare a list of all such goods bearing his own signature and signature of the transporter and shall take all the measures for their safe custody.
      (9) The check post officer seizing the notified goods or the vehicle alongwith the goods under sub-section (7) shall also record the statement of the transporter on all facts of the case and also obtain the particulars about the consignor or consignee of the goods and the vehicle seized. The reasons, if any, for violation of any provision of this section shall also be recorded.   
     (10) If after considering the statement of the transporter the check post officer is satisfied that the explanation is satisfactory and that there was no attempt to evade payment of tax in respect of the goods seized, he shall record his findings giving reasons therefor and release the goods or the vehicle alongwith the goods to the transporter in such manner as may be prescribed.
 
  (11) If the check post officer is not so satisfied, he shall serve on the transporter a notice in the prescribed form requiring him to show cause   ordinarily within fifteen days of the service of the notice, why a penalty of a sum not exceeding 3.5 times the amount of tax which would have been payable if the notified goods were sold within the State on the date of such seizure, as may be specified in the notice, should not be imposed upon him.
 
  12. The officer seizing the notified goods, at any time during the pendency of the proceedings under sub-section  (13), may on furnishing of security in the form of cash security or irrevocable bank guarantee for such amount being deposited as, in his opinion, would be sufficient to cover the penalty likely to be imposed, release the goods or/and the vehicle in favour of the transporter.  
 
  13. The check post officer after taking into consideration the explanation, if any, of the transporter and giving him an opportunity of being heard, shall if he is satisfied, for reasons to be recorded in writing with the explanation and the statement of the transporter, discharge the notice and release the goods or the vehicle with or without the goods seized, in favour of the transporter in such manner as may be prescribed. If the said officer is not so satisfied, he shall record his finding accordingly giving reasons therefore and shall pass an order imposing such penalty not exceeding the sum specified in the notice, as the may deem fit:
        Provided that the amount of penalty shall not be less than three times but not exceeding 3.5 times of the amount of tax which would have been payable if the goods were sold within the State.
 
 14. A copy of the order imposing penalty under sub-section (13) shall be served on the transporter.
 
 15. The penalty or such part thereof as remains after adjustment of any amount deposited under sub-section (12) shall be deposited in the prescribed manner within fifteen days of service of the copy of order imposing the penalty. In default the check post officer shall cause the notified goods to be sold in such manner as may be prescribed and apply the sale proceeds thereof towards the penalty and refund the balance, if any, to the transporter. If the sale proceeds of the goods are not sufficient to cover the amount of penalty or the goods cannot be sold despite the efforts made for the same, the said officer shall cause the vehicle to be sold in the aforesaid manner and apply the sale proceeds thereof towards the balance of penalty and refund the balance of such sale proceeds, if any, to the dealer.
 16. Where the officer seizing the goods, at any time during the pendency of the proceeding under sub-section (11) or (13), is of the opinion that the notified goods are subject to speedy and natural decay or when the expenses of keeping them in custody are likely to exceed their value, he may cause them to be sold in such manner as may be prescribed without waiting for the completion of the proceedings relating to the imposition of penalty and keep the sale proceeds thereof in deposit till the completion of said proceedings. The amount so kept in deposit shall be applied towards such penalty, if any, as may be imposed and the balance, if any, shall be refunded to the transporter according to the provisions of sub-section (15).
 
  (17) Every order under sub-section (13) shall, subject to the provisions of section 46 and 47, be final.
 
   (18) The consignor or the consignee shall preserve the copy of the declaration and other documents relating to the goods covered by the declaration for such period as may be prescribed and produce them before the assessing authority whenever demanded by it within that period. 
 
(19) Subject to such restrictions and conditions and in such manner as may be prescribed, a dealer, on whom a penalty has been imposed under sub-section (2), may opt to pay a lump sum amount, which shall be twice the amount of tax referred to in sub-section (11). Once the dealer has exercised the option he shall not have any right to challenge the order of penalty in any forum.

 

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