CBEC Instructions-Senior Officials of Company should not be issued Summons
Now days Department do not hesitate to issue summons to senior officials of the company to call for information/documents. Even summons are issued to enforce recovery of dues. To curb this issue, CBEC has already issued circular vide F. No 208/122/89-CX.6 dated 13.10.1989 in respect of central excise and vide F. No. 137/39/2007-CX.4 dated 26.2.2007 in Service tax Matters. Now CBEC has taken further step by issuing following instructions vide F. No 207/07/2014-CX-6 dated 20.01.2015:
- Power to issue summon are generally exercised by Superintendents only after obtaining written permission from an officer not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner.
- If for operational reasons it is not possible to obtain written permission; oral/telephonic permission must be obtained and the same should be reduced to writing and intimated to the officer according such permission at the earliest opportunity.
- In all cases, where summons are issued, the officer issuing summons should submit a report and submit the same to the officer who has authorised the issue of summons.
CBEC also clarified that CEO, CFO, General Managers of a large company or a PSU should not be issued summons at the first instance. They should be summoned only when there are indications of involvement in the decision making process which lead to loss of revenue. It is desirable that summons need not always be issued when a simple letter, politely worded, can also serve the purpose of securing documents relevant to investigation. It is emphasized that the use of summons be made only as a last resort when it is absolutely required.