41. Production and inspection of accounts and documents and search of premises.
(1) The Commissioner may, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, require any dealer
(a) to produce before him such books of accounts, registers or documents,
(b) to furnish such information relating to the stock of goods of, or purchases, sales or deliveries of goods by, the dealer or any other information relating to his business, as may be deemed necessary, for the purposes of this Act.
(2) (a) All books of accounts, registers and documents relating to the stock of goods of, or purchases, sales and deliveries of goods by, any dealer, and
(b) All goods kept in any place of business or warehouse of any dealer,
shall at all reasonable times be open to inspection by the Commissioner and the Commissioner may take or cause to be taken such copies or extracts of the said books of accounts, registers or documents and such inventory of the goods found as appear to him necessary for the purposes of this Act.
(3) Where the Commissioner, upon information in his possession or otherwise, has reasonable grounds to believe that
(a) any person to whom a notice under this Act was issued to produce, or cause to be produced, any books of accounts or other documents has omitted or failed to produce or caused to be produced such books of accounts or other documents, as required by such notice, or
(b) any person to whom a notice as aforesaid has been or might be issued, will not, or would not produce or cause to be produced any books of accounts or other documents which will be useful for, or relevant to, any proceedings under the Bengal Finance (Sales Tax) Act, 1941 (Bengal Act VI of 1941), as it was in force in Delhi, or under this Act,
(c) books of accounts, registers or documents of any dealer may be destroyed, mutilated, altered, falsified or secreted or any sales by that dealer have been or may be suppressed, with a view to evade or attempt to evade payment of tax due under the Bengal Finance (Sales Tax) Act, 1941 (Bengal Act VI of 1941), as it was in force in Delhi, or under this Act, the Commissioner or any other person appointed under sub-section (2) of section 9, if so authorised by the Commissioner may,
(i) enter and search any building or place where he has reason to suspect that books of accounts and other documents or the sale proceeds are kept;
(ii) break open the lock of any door, box, locker, safe, almirah or other receptacle for exercising the powers conferred by clause (i) where the keys thereof are not available;
(iii) seize any such books of accounts or other documents or any inventory of goods as appear to him necessary for the purposes of this Act;
(iv) place marks of identification on any books of accounts or other documents or make or cause to be made extracts or copies therefrom;
(v) make a note or any inventory of any such money or goods found as a result of such search;
(vi) seal the premises including the office, shop, godown, box, locker, safe, almirah or other receptacle if the owner or the person in occupation or in charge of such office, shop, godown, box, locker, safe, almirah or other receptacle leaves the place or is not available or fails or refuses to open it when called upon to do so.
(4) The Commissioner may requisition the services of any police officer or any public servant, or of both to assist him for all or any of the purposes specified in sub-section (3).
(5) Where the Commissioner seizes any books of accounts or other documents, he shall give the dealer or the person present on his behalf, as the case may be, a receipt for the same and obtain acknowledgement of the receipt so given to him:
Provided that if the dealer or person from whose custody the books of accounts or other documents are seized refuses to give an acknowledgement, the Commissioner may leave the receipt at the premises and record this fact:
Provided further that the dealer or person aforesaid may file objections before the Commissioner against such search, seizure or inventory within seven days of such search seizure or inventory.
(6) The Commissioner shall keep in his custody the books of accounts, registers or documents seized under sub-section (3) for such period not later than the completion of all the proceedings under this Act in respect of years for which those books of accounts, registers or documents are relevant, as he considers necessary, and thereafter shall return the same to the dealer or any other person from whose custody or power they were seized:
Provided that the Commissioner may, before returning such books of accounts or other documents as aforesaid, place or cause to be placed such marks of identification thereon as appear to him to be necessary:
Provided further that the Commissioner may, before returning the books of accounts and other documents, require that the dealer or the person, as the case may be, shall give a written undertaking that the books of accounts and other documents shall be presented whenever required by any competent authority for any proceedings under this Act.
(7) Save as otherwise provided in this section, every search or seizure made under this section shall be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), relating to searches or seizures made under that Code.
(8) The Commissioner may, for the purposes of this Act
(a) require any person, including a banking company, post office or any officer thereof, to furnish information in relation to such points or matters or to furnish statements of accounts and affairs verified in the manner specified by him, giving information in relation to such points or matters as in his opinion will be useful for, or relevant to, any proceeding under this Act;
(b) require any person
(i) who transports or holds in custody, for delivery to or on behalf of any dealer any goods to give any information likely to be in his possession in respect of such goods or to permit inspection thereof, as the case may be;
(ii) who maintains or has in his possession any books of accounts, registers or documents relating to the business of a dealer to produce such books of accounts, registers or documents for inspection.