Gujarat High court grants bail to accused involved in Fake GST invoice
Fact and Issue of the case
The applicant was taken into custody on 04.12.2020 at Unjha and then taken to GST Office at Rajyakar Bhawan, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad and has been shown arrested on 07.12.2020 by the State Tax Officer, Flying Squad Unit9, Gujarat State, Ahmedabad, in connection with the alleged offence R/CR.MA/1724/2021 ORDER punishable under sections 132(1)(a) of the CGST Act and the CGST Act by exercising powers under section 69 of the CGST Act and the GST Act. It is alleged that the applicant had generated eway bills of 16 firms by concealing the identity of the real purchaser and real seller and has caused huge revenue loss to the tune of Rs.9.60 corers by evading tax.
The present application is filed under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 in connection with File No. CCST/STO/ENF/FSU9/SUPRIM PATEL/202021/B.1 registered with the Office of Chief Commissioner of State Tax, Gujarat State, Dist. Ahmedabad for the offences punishable under Section 132(1)(a) of the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 (CGST Act) and Gujarat Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (GST Act).
Observation of the court
Heard the learned advocated of the respective parties and also perused the papers of investigation and complaint. The case of the prosecution is that the applicant has operated 16 fictitious firms and a tax liability to the tune of Rs.9,60,47,253/ had R/CR.MA/1724/2021 ORDER been evaded by misusing the registration numbers of various firms. The investigation culminated in complaint Case No.11282 of 2021 which was filed before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Ahmedabad on 04.02.2021. A close perusal of the complaint prima facie reveals that there are 16 firms, which were part of scrutiny by the investigating agency. As per the case of the prosecution, the applicant is involved in misusing the registration numbers of these 16 firms and the total tax evasion by generating eway bill without revealing the true identity of the real purchaser or real seller is stated to be Rs.96,047253/. The court has also examined the role and names connected with such firms and prima facie it appears that the applicant is involved in four firms viz: Meet Traders(Rs.39,39,864/ tax evaded), Ravi Enterprise (Rs.40,14,306/ tax evaded), V.S.Trading (Rs.38,06,024/ tax evaded) and Vikas Enterprise (Rs.38,99,983/ tax evaded). Except these four firms nothing is pointed to this Court with regard to the complicity of the applicant in generating eway bills of other firms. The total tax evasion of these four firms comes to Rs.1,60,00,000/ approx. The applicant is also ready and willing to deposit some of the amount as per the instructions received by learned advocate Mr. Pandya from the applicant.
Under the circumstances, having perused the Materials placed on record and taking into consideration the facts of the case, nature of allegations, gravity of offences, role attributed to the accused, without discussing the evidence in detail, at this stage, this Court is inclined to grant regular bail to the applicant. This Court has considered following aspects;
(i) The role attributed to the accused;
(ii) The applicant is aged around 30 years;
(iii) The applicant is under the judicial custody since 07.12.2020.
(iv) Prima facie, it appears that the complicity of the applicant in generating eway bills for evading the tax by misusing registration number is in four firms instead of 16 firms, and total tax evasion comes to Rs.1,60,0000/ aprox.
(v) the investigation is over as the complaint is already filed apropos the applicant;
(vi) The offence is punishable with maximum of 5 years imprisonment.
This Court has also taken into consideration the law laid down by the Apex Court in the case of Sanjay Chandra Vs. Central Bureau of Investigation, (2012) 1 SCC 40.
In the result, the present application is allowed and the applicant is ordered to be released R/CR.MA/1724/2021 ORDER on regular bail in connection with a File No. CCST/ STO/ENF/FSU9/SUPRIM PATEL/202021/B.1 registered with the Office of Chief Commissioner of State Tax, Gujarat State, Dist. Ahmedabad, on executing a personal bond of Rs.10,000/ (Rupees Ten Thousand Only) with one local surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the learned Trial Court and subject to the conditions that he shall;
(a) not take undue advantage of liberty or misuse liberty;
(b) not act in a manner injurious to the interest of the prosecution;
(c) surrender his passport, if any, to the lower court within a week;
(d) not leave the State of Gujarat without prior permission of the concerned Trial Court;
(e) mark presence before the concerned Police Station on alternate every Monday for initial six months and thereafter, on alternate Monday of every English calendar month, for a period of six months, between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.;
(f) furnish latest address of residence to the Investigating Officer and also to the Court at the time of execution of the bond and shall not change the residence without prior permission of the Trial Court;
(g) deposit an amount of Rs.10,00,000/ (Rupees Ten lacs) within a period of 10 (ten) days before R/CR.MA/1724/2021 ORDER the trial Court from the date of receipt of writ of this order.
On depositing the aforesaid amount, the applicant shall be released on bail. The applicant shall file an undertaking that the remaining amount of Rs.30,00,000/ (Rupees Thirty lacs) shall be deposited within a period of 12 (twelve) weeks. It goes without saying that if the applicant does not abide by the conditions imposed by this Court, the bail will stand automatically cancelled.
The Authorities will release the applicant only if he is not required in connection with any other offence for the time being. If breach of any of the above conditions is committed, the concerned Trial Court will be free to issue warrant or take appropriate action in the matter. Bail bond to be executed before the Trial Court having jurisdiction to try the case.
The court allowed bail to the applicant in the present case and directed the Authorities to release the applicant only if he is not required in connection with any other offence for the time being.
Read the full order from belowGujarat-High-court-grants-bail-to-accused-involved-in-Fake-GST-invoice