Person accused of GST Evasion to be released on Bail for 60 days due to COVID-19: Allahabad High Court [Read Order]

Person accused - GST Evasion - GST - bail - COVID-19 - Allahabad High Court - Taxscan

The Allahabad High Court held that the person accused of GST Evasion to be released on bail for 60 days due to COVID-19.

The petitioner, Suraj Singh was arrested under Section 132(1) (b) (c) and (i) of CGST Act for alleged wrongful availment or utilisation of input tax credit or refund of tax.

Mr. Anurag Khanna, Senior Advocate for the petitioner submitted that under the order of Hon’ble Supreme Court in Suo Moto Writ Petition, High Power Committee (HPC) was constituted. The meeting of “HPC” was held on 26.4.2021 and on behalf of HPC, Registrar General of High Court, Allahabad has issued certain directions on 30.4.2021 for release of prisoners on parole/interim bail for 60 days considering the widespread of novel coronavirus.

Mr. Khanna urged that the applicant be arrested under Section 132(1) (b) (c) and (i) of CGST Act and maximum punishment under these sections are only 5 years. In compliance with the order dated 30.4.2021, a list of such prisoners was prepared by Jail Superintendent and the same was submitted before the Special Chief Judicial Magistrate, Meerut.

The Special Chief Judicial Magistrate has considered the same and rejected vide order dated 10.5.2021 on the ground that in terms of the direction dated 30.4.2021, neither any bail application of petitioner is pending before the High Court or Supreme Court nor any bail rejection order has been passed, Mr. Khanna added.

It was further submitted on behalf of the petitioner that in the direction of “HPC” dated 30.4.2021, there is no such condition required and without proper appreciating the facts as well as without following the directions issued by “HPC”, learned Special Chief Judicial Magistrate, Meerut has passed the impugned rejection order dated 10.5.2021. He also submitted that as per direction issued by “HPC” dated 30.4.2021, petitioner is fully entitled for release on parole/interim bail for 60 days.

Vinod Kant, the Additional Advocate General assisted by Sanjay Sharma, learned AGA has submitted that there is no such condition present in the direction dated 30.4.2021 on the basis of which impugned order has been passed. He next submitted that impugned order may be quashed and matter may be remanded back to the Special Chief Judicial Magistrate, Meerut to pass fresh order strictly in accordance with direction issued by “HPC” vide letter dated 30.4.2021.

The Single Judge bench of Justice Neeraj Tiwari found that no such condition on the basis of which impugned order has been passed by Special Chief Judicial Magistrate, Meerut, therefore, impugned order lacks merit and is liable to be quashed.

“Accordingly, the order dated 10.5.2021 passed by Special Chief Judicial Magistrate, Meerut is quashed and petition is allowed. Special Chief Judicial Magistrate, Meerut is directed to reconsider the application of petitioner and pass reasoned order within one week from the date of production of computer generated copy of this order strictly in accordance with direction issued by “HPC” vide letter dated 30.4.2021,” the court said.

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