The powers of arrest under the CGST Act has been a highly contentious issue. The central government had moved the Supreme Court on the matter and their essential demand had been to seek clarity on the powers of arrest under Section 69 of the CGST Act.
There have been conflicting verdicts on the matter. Verdicts from the Telangana High Court and the Bombay High Court with respect to the exercise of the powers has led to this point of conflict.
Nonetheless, the Centre has made its position quite clear that as far as the offences are concerned they are cognisable in nature. Section 69 provides very clear power of arrest to the commissioner and there is not even the need to register an FIR before investigating or even arresting, and that is the stance they have taken.
Now in response to all of this, the apex court has agreed to hear the matter. It has clarified that the three-judge bench will be adjudicating on the matter and will be clarifying on what powers, if any, are available under Section 69 with respect to arrest.
In light of conflicting verdicts coming from the different high courts, the apex court has now directed the high courts to not hear these matters concerning powers of arrest until the three-judge Supreme Court bench clarifies.