GST Evasion: Gauhati High Court refuses to grant Bail to Person accused for illegally availing ITC worth Rs. 28.97 Cr [Read Order]

GST Evasion - Gauhati High Court - Bail - illegally availing ITC - Taxscan

The Gauhati High Court refused to grant Bail to the person accused of illegally availing Input Tax Credit (ITC) worth Rs. 28.97 Crores.

The petitioner, Amit Kumar is allegedly involved in the generation of invoices without an actual supply of goods. The petitioner has been operating under the trade name, M/s Maruti Traders. He has been engaged in fraudulent practices of availing as well as passing on ITC accumulated through the issuance of fake GST invoices and corroborating the same through the issuance of E-way bills without actual supply of goods. The declared principal place of business is vague and fictitious and does not exist. However, during the search in the undeclared premises, Vision (an interior decoration hub) building, Jayanagar, Tripura Road, Guwahati, a huge quantity of incriminating documents belonging to M/s Maruti like E-way bills, invoices, kaccha cash exchange details, bank cheque books used for running the racket, etc. were found. Thereafter, a search at multiple places related to M/s Maruti Traders and the present petitioner also led to the seizure of incriminating documents, such as E-way bills, invoices, kaccha cash exchange details, bank cheque books used for running the racket, etc.

Mr. Choudhury, senior counsel for the petitioner, while praying for bail of the petitioner has submitted that specifically there is no allegation against the present petitioner for an offense under Section 132(1) of the CGST Act. He has also submitted that no prayer is made by the concerned CGST authority not to release the petitioner on bail. It has further been submitted that the only accusation against the present petitioner is in respect of falsifying accounts of his firm, M/s Maruti Traders.

Mr. Keyal, Standing Counsel, CGST has objected to the prayer for bail on the grounds that the investigation is still on and some vital clues have been collected requiring further detailed investigation into the matter involved in this case.

The single-judge bench of Justice Hitesh Kumar Sarma while refusing the bail held that the complaint alleges the commission of an economic offense of huge magnitude and therefore, a thorough and detailed investigation is essential. Further, considering the enormous materials collected and placed before this Court, vide the record, in respect of manipulation of invoices, etc and thereby allegedly evading tax by the petitioner to the tune of Rs. 28,97,85,917/- by way of illegally availing ITC, the enlargement of the petitioner on bail, at this stage is likely to hamper the investigation and tamper evidence which may amount to compromising with the entire investigation of the case.

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