Madhya Pradesh HC grants Bail to alleged GST Offender, kept in Jail with COVID-19 Infected Persons [Read Order]

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The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Tuesday granted bail to an accused person arrested in a GST evasion case by considering that he was kept in the jail wherein COVID-19 infected persons were found.

The accused was involved in a GST fraud case worth rupees 6.5 crores. The department arrested him in November 2019 for fabricating the invoices and uploading the same on the GST portal and for the non-production of the E-way bill during the transit.

Before the High Court the petitioner contended that the offense committed under section 132 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act is a bailable offense and that the absence of E-Way Bill is not conclusive proof of invoices being fabricated or the fact that the supply was not made to the complainant. It was also submitted that the applicant has been kept in jail wherein COVID-19 infected persons have been found.

Justice Prakash Shrivastavaobserved that the bail can be granted if the applicant is ready to deposit Rs. 1 Crore with the trial Court and secure the remaining amount by furnishing the solvent security, the submission of counsel for the applicant is that the amount of deposit is reduced by 50%.

“Having considered the submission made by counsel for the parties and also taking note of the prevailing COVID-19 infection and considering the fact that the applicant is in custody since 28.11.2019 and in the present scenario conclusion of the trial is likely to take time and also taking note of the submission of counsel for the applicant in respect of the condition relating to deposit of the amount, it is directed that the applicant-Lalit Kumar Gandhi will be released on bail subject to conditions,” the bench said.

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