What are the guidelines for issue of summons?

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC)
in the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance
has issued guidelines from time to time to ensure that
summons provisions are not misused in the field. Some
of the important highlights of these guidelines are given
i. summons are to be issued as a last resort where
assesses are not co-operating and this section
should not be used for the top management;
ii. the language of the summons should not be harsh
and legal which causes unnecessary mental
stress and embarrassment to the receiver;
iii. summons by Superintendents should be issued
after obtaining prior written permission from
an officer not below the rank of Assistant
Commissioner with the reasons for issuance of
summons to be recorded in writing;
iv. where for operational reasons, it is not possible
to obtain such prior written permission, oral/
telephonic permission from such officer must
be obtained and the same should be reduced to
writing and intimated to the officer according
such permission at the earliest opportunity;
v. in all cases, where summons are issued, the
officer issuing summons should submit a report
or should record a brief of the proceedings
in the case file and submit the same to the
officer who had authorized the issuance of
vi. senior management officials such as CEO, CFO,
General Managers of a large company or a Public
Sector Undertaking should not generally be
issued summons at the first instance. They should
206 be summoned only when there are indications
in the investigation of their involvement in the
decision making process which led to loss of