In CRM-M-5147-2023 - PUNJ HC - Punjab and Haryana High Court rejects anticipatory bail plea of petitioner in GST fraud case, says prima facie evidence of his involvement in setting up fictitious firms and cheating the government of crores of rupees
Justice Jasjit Singh Bedi [01-06-2023]
Read Order: Mandeep @ Monty v. The State of Punjab
New Delhi, June 7, 2023: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed the petition for anticipatory bail filed by Mandeep alias Monty, stating that there was prima facie evidence of his involvement in setting up fictitious firms/companies and cheating the government of crores of rupees under the pretext of GST.
The petitioner had filed a petition under Section 438 Cr.P.C. for the grant of anticipatory bail in FIR registered under Sections 420, 465, 468, 471 IPC and Section 66D of Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008. The instant FIR came to be registered on the basis of letter sent by State Excise Officer stating that using the fake and false documents by some persons, the bogus GST registrations were being applied.
The counsel for the petitioner contented that the petitioner had been falsely implicated in the present case. There was absolutely no evidence to suggest that the petitioner had committed any offence in question. In fact, no specific role had been assigned to him. He had been named in the disclosure statement of his co-accused which was inadmissible. As he was ready and willing to join investigation and the case was based on documentary evidence, no case for custodial interrogation was made out and the petitioner was entitled to the concession of anticipatory bail.
The counsel for the State argued that the petitioner, was one of the main accused in the case. According to the statement given by Arfaan Khan, the petitioner and his co-accused were involved in collecting identity proofs from various individuals. These proofs were then provided to Sunny Kumar, who created forged rent deeds and agreements. Another co-accused, Surinder Singh alias Raju, used these fake documents to create fake firms. During the investigation, GST records of a firm named M/s Anand Enterprises, operated by the petitioner, were collected. Two other firms, Ganesh Steel and B.D. Enterprises, were found to be involved in trade with Anand Enterprises. However, upon visiting the premises of these firms, they were found to be non-existent.
Denying the anticipatory bail, the court noted that custodial interrogation of the petitioner was necessary for recoveries of various documents and revealing the names of the real beneficiaries.
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