Section 70A. Furnishing of information by others

(1) The Commissioner may, for the purpose of this Act, by an order in writing

(a) require any person including an officer of a Bank, Post Office or such other institution, to furnish information in relation to such matters which in his opinion is likely to be useful or relevant in proceedings under this Act.

(b) require any person,-

(i) who has custody of goods of a dealer for the purpose of delivery or transports, to furnish information in respect of such  goods, or to permit inspection thereof.

(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.

(2) Where a person who is required to furnish information or permit  inspection of goods or to produce books of accounts, registers or documents for inspection under clause (a) or (b) of sub- section (1), fails to furnish information or to permit inspection or to produce books of accounts, registers or documents, the Commissioner may after giving the person an opportunity of being heard, make an order of detention or seizure of the goods or, as the case may be, the books of accounts, registers or documents.

(3) The order of detention or seizure made under sub- section (2) shall remain in force so long as the person concerned does not furnish information or permit inspection or, as the case may be, produce books of accounts, registers, or documents for inspection.

(4) Where for any reason it is not feasible to make an order of detention or seizure under sub- section (2), the Commissioner or an officer authorised by him, may by an order direct the owner or the person who is in possession or control of the goods or the books of accounts, registers or documents, not to remove or part with or otherwise deal with the goods or the documents except with the previous permission of the Commissioner or the authorized officer.

(5) Where a person fails to act as required under sub-section (1), the Commissioner may, without prejudice to any other action which is liable to be taken against such person under any other provision of this Act, after giving an opportunity of being heard to such person, impose on him a penalty of a sum not exceeding rupees twenty- five thousand.

(6) The Commissioner or an officer authorised by him in this behalf  may release the goods or documents detained or seized under subsection (2), if the person concerned pays by way of penalty such sum, not exceeding one and a half times the amount of tax leviable on such goods under this Act, as he may direct.

(7) Where,-

(a) no claim is made by any person in respect of the goods detained or seized under sub-section (2), within a period of one month from the date of such detention or seizure.

(b) the person fails to pay penalty imposed on him under subsection (5) or to pay a sum as directed under sub-section (6),  within the prescribed period,

the Commissioner may, by an order in writing, direct that the goods may be sold by auction:

Provided that if the goods detained or seized are of the perishable nature or subject to speedy or natural decay or if the expenses of keeping them in custody are likely to exceed their value, the same may be ordered to be sold by auction as soon as it is practicable after such detention or seizure and an amount realized by sale by auction of the goods shall be remitted in the Government treasury.

(8) The auction of goods under the sub-section (7) shall be made in such manner as may be prescribed.

(9) Any person who is entitled to the proceeds of the sale of goods by auction under the sub-section (7) shall, on application made to the Commissioner, be paid such proceeds of the goods so auctioned after deducting from them the expenses of the sale by auction or other  incidental charges and the amount of tax, interest and penalty leviable under this Act.