VAT - ACT
   
   

MAHARASHTRA VALUE ADDED SALES TAX ACT, 2002

RULES
FORMS

CHAPTER XII
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

74. Offences and penalties.
(1) Whoever, not being a registered dealer under this Act, falsely represents that he is or was a registered dealer at the time when he sells or buys goods shall, on conviction, be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with fine.

(2) Where a return is required to be furnished under any of the provisions of this Act, then whoever knowingly furnishes a false return shall, on conviction, be punished,-
(i) in case where the amount of tax, which could have been evaded if the false return had been accepted as true, exceeds Rs. 10,000, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with fine;
(ii) in any other case, with rigorous imprisonment for a term, which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to one year and with fine.

(3) Whoever, knowingly produces before the Commissioner or the Tribunal, a false bill, cash-memorandum, voucher, declaration, certificate or other document for any of the purposes referred to in sub-section (4) of section 29, shall, on conviction, be punished,-
(i) in case where the amount of tax which could have been evaded, if the documents referred to above had been accepted as true, exceeds Rs.10.000, during the period of a year, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with fine;
(ii) in any other case, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to one year and with fine.

(4) Whoever knowingly keeps false account of the value of the goods bought or sold by him in contravention of sub-section (1) of section 63, shall, on conviction, be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to one year and with fine.

(5) Whoever, knowingly produces false accounts, registers or documents or knowingly furnishes false information, shall, on conviction, be punished, -
(i) in case where the amount of tax which could have been evaded, if the accounts, registers or documents or information referred to above had been accepted as true, exceeds Rs.10,000, during the period of. a year, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with fine;
(ii) in any other case, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to one year and with fine.

(6) Whoever issues to any person any certificate or declaration under the Act, rules or notifications or a false bill, cash-memorandum, voucher, delivery challan, lorry receipt or other document which he knows or has reason to believe to be false, shall, on conviction, be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not-be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with fine.

(7) Whoever,-
(a) (i) willfully attempts, in any manner whatsoever, to evade any tax leviable under this Act, or
(ii) willfully attempts, in any manner whatsoever, to evade any A payment of any tax, penalty or interest or all of them under this Act, or
(iii) fails to comply with the requirements of any order issued under sub-section (3) of section 38, shall, on conviction, be punished, - (A) in case where the amount involved exceeds Rs.10,000 during the period of, a year, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with fine; (B) in any other case, with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to one year and with fine.
(b) falsely represents that he is authorised under section 82 to appear before any authority in any proceedings shall, on conviction, be punished for a term which may extend to three months and with fine.

(8) Whoever, -
(a) is engaged in business as a dealer without being registered under or in willful contravention of section 16, or
(b) fails without sufficient cause, to furnish any information required by section 18, regarding change in business, etc., or fails to comply with the requirements of any summon issued under sub-section (1) of section 14 or fails to comply with the requirements of section 17, or.
(c) fails to comply with the requirements of sub-section (2) or (5) of section 22;
(d) fails, without sufficient cause, to deduct tax at source or pay such tax deducted at source as required by section 31, or
(e) without reasonable cause, contravenes any of the provisions of . Section 60, or
(f) fails, without sufficient cause, to get his accounts audited or furnish the report of the audit as provided under section 61, or
(g) fails, without sufficient cause, when directed so to do under section 63 to keep any accounts or record, in accordance with the directions, or
(h) fails, without, sufficient cause, to comply with any requirements under section 64, 65 or 66, or
(i) voluntarily obstructs any officer conducting audit under section 22, making inspection or search or seizure under section 64 cross-checking under section 65 or survey under section 66, or
(j) contravenes the provisions of or does not comply with the requirements of section 67 or 68;
(k) fails, without sufficient cause, to furnish any information or return required by section 70 by the date and in the manner prescribed, or willfully furnishes any information or return which he knows to be incorrect or false, or
(l) without sufficient cause, fails to issue a tax invoice, a bill or cash memorandum as required under section 86, or
(m) contravenes, without reasonable cause, any of the conditions subject to which the certificate of entitlement is granted, shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with fine.

(9) Whoever aids or abets or induces any person in commission of any act specified in sub-sections (1) to (8) shall, on conviction, be punished with rigorous imprisonment which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to one year and with fine.
(10) Whoever fails, without sufficient cause, to furnish any return other than an annual return as required by section 20 by the date and in the manner prescribed, shall, on conviction, be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with a fine, which shall not be less than, -
(i) rupees two thousand, if the tax due for the period covered by the return does not exceed rupees twenty thousand;
(ii) Rupees five thousand, if the tax due for the period covered by the return exceeds rupees twenty thousand but does not exceed rupees one lakh;
(iii) Rupees ten thousand, if the tax due for the period covered by the return exceeds rupees one lakh.

(11) Whoever fails, without sufficient cause, to furnish a correct and complete annual return by the date and in the manner prescribed shall, on conviction, be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one month and which may extend to one year and with fine.

(12) Whoever commits any of the acts specified in sub-sections (1) to (11) and the offence is a continuing one under any of the provisions of these sub-sections, shall, on conviction, be punished with daily fine not less than rupees one hundred during the period of the continuance of the offence, in addition to the punishments provided under this section.

(13) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-sections (1) to (9), no person shall be proceeded against under these sub-sections for the acts referred to therein if the total amount of tax evaded or attempted to be evaded is less than Rs. 200 during the period of a year.

(14) Where a dealer is accused of an offence specified in any of the subsections (1) to (7), or in any of the clauses of sub-section (8), (10) or (11), the person deemed to be the manager of the business of such dealer under section 19 shall also be deemed to be guilty of such offence, unless he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission thereof.

(15) In any prosecution for an offence under this section, which requires a culpable mental state on the part of the accused, the court shall presume the existence of such mental state, but it shall be a defence for the accused to prove the fact that he had no such mental state with respect to the act charged as an offence in that prosecution.

Explanation.- Culpable mental state includes intention, motive or knowledge of a fact or belief in, or reason to believe, a fact and a fact is said to be proved only when the court believes it to exist beyond reasonable doubt and not merely when its existence is established by a preponderance of probability.

75. Offences by Companies
(1) Where an offence under this Act or the rules made thereunder has been committed by a business entity, every person who at the time the offence was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the business entity for the conduct of the business of the business entity as well as the business entity shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:
Provided that, nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment provided in this Act if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act or rules made thereunder has been committed by a business entity and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the business entity, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Explanation.-
For the purpose of this section, -
(a) "business entity" means a body corporate, and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and
(b) "director", in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.

(3) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a Hindu Undivided Family, the Karta thereof shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and on conviction, punished accordingly:
Provided that, nothing contained in this sub-section shall render the Karta liable to any punishment if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence:
Provided further that, where an offence under this Act has been committed by a Hindu Undivided Family and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any adult member of the Hindu Undivided Family, such member shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and on conviction, punished accordingly.

76. Cognizance of offences
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), all offences punishable under this Act or rules made thereunder shall be cognizable and bailable.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), a Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate First Class may, impose on any person found guilty of an offence under section 71, 72 or 74, a punishment as provided in relevant sections.

(3) If any prosecution for an offence under this Act has been instituted in respect of the same facts on which a penalty has been imposed by the Commissioner under section 29 or 61, then if the offence is compounded under section 78 or, in any other case, on conviction as a result of the final proceedings, the Commissioner shall refund to the dealer the amount of penalty paid by him.

77. Investigation of Offences
(1) Subject to such conditions, if any, as may be prescribed, the Commissioner may authorise, either generally or in respect of a particular case or class of cases any officer or person subordinate to him to investigate all or any of the offences punishable under this Act.

(2) Every officer so authorised shall, in the conduct of such investigation, exercise the powers conferred by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), upon an officer in charge of a police station for the investigation of a cognizable, offence.

78. Compounding of offences
(1) The Commissioner may, either before or after the institution of proceedings for any offence punishable under section 74 or under any rules made under this Act, after affording the person concerned an opportunity of being heard, accept from any person charged under sub-section (8), (10) or (11) or under any rule, a sum not exceeding two thousand rupees and in any other case a sum not exceeding double the amount of tax which would have been payable on the sale, purchase or turnover to which the offence relates, by way of composition of the offence.

(2) On payment of such sum as may be determined by the Commissioner under sub-section (1), no further proceedings shall be taken against the accused person in respect of the same offence and any proceedings, if already taken, shall stand abated.

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rule 79

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