Delhi court grants bail to accused in Rs 19 crore GST fraud case

Delhi Court has granted bail to an accused allegedly involved in wrongfully passing input credit of GST amounting to Rs 19 crores.

The accused was arrested on December 1, 2022, and remanded to Judicial Custody till December 14, 2022.

Additional District Judge Sudhanshu Kaushik while granting bail last week said, no blanket ban can be put on bail merely because a person has been accused of an economic offence. In the present matter, the applicant is in custody since December 1, 2022. The report submitted by the prosecution demonstrates that the investigation of the accused already stands concluded.

The court in order further said, “Prosecution has already recorded the statement of the concerned persons including the transporters. The relevant documents have been collected. The fact that custodial interrogation of the accused is not warranted is evident from the fact that the prosecution never moved any application for the same.”

Court further said that prosecution has opposed the bail application on the ground that there is a likelihood that the accused would try to influence the transporters, whose statements have been recorded. The bail cannot be refused merely on the apprehension that the accused would try to influence the transporters, more so, when no grounds for further custodial detention are made out.

The court granted bail to Jagdish Bansal/accused on Rs 15 lakh personal bail bond and two like amount surety.

Appearing for Jagdish Mittal, Advocate Vijay Kumar Aggarwal and Advocate Ayush Jindal argued that offence under section 132 of the GST Act entails a maximum punishment of five years and in such like offences, granting of bail is the rule and magistrate has dismissed the bail application on the basis of erroneous interpretation of the law.

Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, also submitted that the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate has wrongly applied the principles of law by holding that at the state of remand, the court only has to see that a prima-facie case is made out against the accused and it cannot proceed to evaluate the evidence available on record.

He further argued that the Magistrate is duty bound to record satisfaction before authorizing further detention of the accused and the Magistrate has not complied with the guidelines issued by the Apex Court in the case of Arnesh Kumar.

It was alleged that Jagdish Bansal has created four proprietorship concerns and illegally claimed an input tax credit (ITC) under GST on the basis of false invoices, without there being any actual receipt of goods. It was further alleged that by following this modus operandi, the proprietorship concerns have passed on illegal ITC to the tune of Rs 19.67 crores. It was further alleged that Jagdish Bansal in his statement recorded under section 70 of the Central Goods and Services Act, 2017 purportedly admitted that he had been running fake firms and passing on ITC on the strength of god-less invoices. (ANI)

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