GST Evasion: Gauhati HC grants Bail to person accused of deliberately Supplying Goods without issuing Invoices [Read Order]

GST Evasion - Gauhati High Court - supplying goods - invoices - Taxscan

The Gauhati High Court granted the bail to the person accused of deliberately supplying goods without issuing invoices.

The petitioner, Subhash Kumar Singh was served with a notice under Section 50 of Cr.P.C. by the Superintendent of State Tax Assam, BIEO, Assam, Srimantapur, Guwahati under the provision of Section 132(1) (i) of the Assam GST Act, 2017 (AGST) alleging that sufficient materials have been found against the petitioner regarding his involvement in evasion of taxes and Cess, amounting to more than Rs. 5,00,00,000/- which is a cognizable offence under Section 132(1)(i) AGST Act. It was further alleged that the petitioner is found to have deliberately supplied goods without issuing invoices in violation of the provisions of AGST Act with intention to evade Tax during the period of 2019 to 2021. Pursuant to issue of the said notice under Section 50 Cr.P.C. the petitioner was arrested and was forwarded to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup Metro, Assam citing reasons therein, inter alia that, that the respondent has ascertained that the petitioner has deliberately supplied goods without issue of invoices in violation of the provisions of the AGST Act with the intention to evade Tax and Cess.

Mr. Choudhury, learned counsel for the petitioner has submitted that since investigation of the case has been completed and formal offence report has been laid in the Court by the Investigating Agency, there is no scope at all for hampering with the investigation or tampering with any of the materials connected with the case. It has further been submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the offence alleged in the instant case is compoundable in view of the provisions of Section 138 of the AGST Act.

Mr. Phukan, learned Public Prosecutor has submitted that the offences being an economic offence of huge magnitude, the Court may not like to show any leniency towards the petitioner. He has further submitted that there is no prayer made for compounding of the offences. The offences, involved in this case, are compoundable. On this point of argument, a pointed query is made to the learned counsel for the petitioner as to whether any prayer is pending for compounding of the offences to which he replied that the petitioner is likely to exercise his option only on release on bail.

The single bench of Justice Hitesh Kumar Sarma said that for the purpose of further investigation, custodial detention of the petitioner is not essential. As per the materials on record, there is no indication that the petitioner, if granted bail, is likely to evade the trial or there is an apprehension of his tampering with the witnesses. Apart from all these, this Court has also taken into fact that during the period of the entire investigation, the petitioner has been in custody for 65 days.

The direction for bail is further subject to the conditions that the accused-petitioner shall not leave the territorial jurisdiction of the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup (Metro), Guwahati, without prior written permission from him; who, in the event of granting permission to leave the jurisdiction, shall pass a detailed reasoned order for his decision; shall deposit his Passport/visa, etc if any, in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup (Metro), Guwahati; shall not tamper with the evidence of the case; shall not, directly or indirectly, make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any police officer; and shall not contact, in any form any of the witnesses of this case.

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