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We are not in a state of Emergency to do what you want: Gujarat High Court slams IT raids on lawyer’s office

The Court was hearing a plea filed by an advocate Maulik Kumar Sheth, who highlighted that the Income Tax officers had raided his house and office to search for a document related to one of his client’s transactions. 

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Sheth and pointed out that while the seizure was completed on November 3, the officials did not let his client (Sheth) come to the Court or allow his family members to go to work till November 6. 

The counsel representing the IT department, however, contended that the officials had seized the documents properly, after recording the mandatory satisfaction as per Section 132 of the IT Act.

“The law allows the officials to resort to search and seizure after recording a satisfaction that an individual, served with summons or notice, would not furnish the documents related to money, jewellery or bullion,” the advocate submitted. 

The Court noted that the document that the officials were looking for was a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) filed by a client of the petitioner with regard to two transactions, which the IT Department claimed was “sensitive.”

Pertinently, the Court also took critical note that Sheth was not issued any notice before his premises were raided by the Income Tax officers.

“You (IT Department) did not issue any notice to the petitioner. Then how could you record such a satisfaction? Anybody can have the copy of the MoU, then will you search everybody in the market? This is not the correct approach Mr Counsel. The Department cannot resort to such conduct,” the Court said.  

Source: Barandbench

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