Summons for Inquiry (GST SUM-01)

Legal Basis: Section 70 of the CGST Act, 2017

Extract of Section 70 of the CGST Act, 2017

Section 70 of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act, 2017 empowers the tax authorities to summon individuals for inquiry to give evidence or produce documents during an investigation. This section is crucial for ensuring compliance and addressing potential violations of GST laws.

Section 70: Power to Summon Persons to Give Evidence and Produce Documents

(1) The proper officer under this Act shall have the power to summon any person whose attendance he considers necessary either to give evidence or to produce a document or any other thing in any inquiry such officer is making. For this purpose, the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), shall have effect.

(2) Every such inquiry referred to in sub-section (1) shall be deemed to be a “judicial proceeding” within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

Summons for Inquiry (GST SUM-01)

GST SUM-01 is a summons of utmost importance issued by GST authorities to a taxpayer or any other person during an inquiry. This notice requires the person to appear before the authorities to provide evidence or produce documents relevant to the investigation, underscoring the seriousness of the matter.

Example Scenario

Suppose the GST authorities are investigating a case of suspected tax evasion involving ABC Pvt Ltd. As part of the inquiry, they issued a GST SUM-01 summons to the company’s accountant, requesting him to appear and provide specific financial documents and records crucial to the investigation.

Legal Recourse and Proceedings

Legal Recourse

When a person receives a GST SUM-01 summons, they should:

  1. Understand the Summons: It’s crucial to comprehend the purpose of the summons. This understanding will guide you in preparing adequately for the inquiry and meeting the specific requirements.
  2. Prepare for Appearance: Gather the necessary documents and prepare to provide the required evidence or testimony.
  3. Get Professional Advice: It’s highly recommended to consult with a legal expert or GST practitioner. This step will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the implications and help you prepare effectively for the inquiry.

Legal Proceedings

Failure to comply with a GST SUM-01 can lead to the following:

  • Contempt of Court: Since the inquiry under Section 70 is deemed a judicial proceeding, non-compliance can be treated as contempt of court.
  • Penalties: Penalties may be imposed for failure to appear or produce the required documents, as specified under Section 122(3)(d) of the CGST Act.
  • Further Legal Action: Persistent non-compliance can lead to more severe legal consequences, including prosecution under applicable laws. This underscores the importance of immediate and complete compliance.

Penalties and Prosecution

Non-compliance with a GST SUM-01 can result in the following:

  • Monetary Penalty: Penalties up to Rs. 25,000 for not appearing or producing required documents.
  • Prosecution: Under Sections 193 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code, false evidence or statements made under oath can lead to imprisonment and fines.

Do’s and Don’ts on Receiving a GST SUM-01 Summons


  1. Read Carefully: Understand the purpose of the summons and the specific details of what is required.
  2. Gather Documents: Collect all necessary documents and information requested in the summons.
  3. Consult a Professional: Seek advice from a GST practitioner or legal expert to ensure proper compliance.
  4. Be Prompt: Appear before the authorities at the specified time and place mentioned in the summons.
  5. Maintain Records: Keep copies of the summons and any documents submitted for future reference.


  1. Ignore the Summons: Ignoring the summons can lead to severe legal consequences, including penalties and prosecution.
  2. Delay Response: Delaying your response can worsen the situation and result in additional penalties.
  3. Provide Incomplete Information: Ensure all the information and documents submitted are complete and accurate.
  4. Disregard Professional Advice: Always consult with a professional if you are unsure about the content or implications of the summons.

Legal Remedy

If a person believes that the summons is unjust or if they face undue hardship, they have the following remedies:

  1. File an Objection: Respond to the summons with valid reasons and request a rescheduling or reconsideration if necessary.
  2. Seek Legal Intervention: If the summons is deemed to have been issued without proper jurisdiction or in violation of legal provisions, approach the appropriate legal forum.
  3. Appeal: If any adverse order is passed following the inquiry, the person can file an appeal under Section 107 of the CGST Act within three months from the order date.


Section 70 of the CGST Act 2017 allows the tax authorities to summon individuals for inquiry to ensure compliance with GST laws. The GST SUM-01 summons is critical for conducting investigations and gathering evidence. Understanding how to respond to such summonses, the potential penalties, and the available legal remedies can help individuals and businesses navigate the complexities of GST compliance and avoid severe legal consequences. Proper preparation and professional guidance are crucial to handling inquiries effectively and ensuring compliance with GST regulations.

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