Investigation-Officer’s unregulated use of power in issuing repeated summons challenged before Kerala HC

Kerala HC grants interim stay of further proceedings initiated pursuant to tsunami of summons issued by the  State Tax Officer (Investigation Branch), after the Pr. Addl DGGSTI has already closed the investigation; Challenging the unregulated use of power of summons, Petitioner (engaged in education sector) argues that the barrage of summons u/s 70 by the STO (Inv), during the pendency of SCNs since 2019, amounts to harassment, blatant abuse of power and non-compliance with CBIC’s Circulars/Instructions; Drawing attention of court to the incident where the STO (Inv) has openly threatened the assessee of dire consequences in he fails to appear despite having questioned the officer’s jurisdiction, Petitioner contends that the matter of unregulated power regarding issue of summons is currently pending consideration before the SC; Therefore, Petitioner pleas that the high-handedness of STO (Inv) be put to an end by quashing all the summons and declaring the conduct as violative of Articles 14, 19, 21, 265 and 300A of the Constitution