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Punjab and Haryana HC grants Bail to Advocate allegedly involved in GST Scam

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted bail to an Advocate who was allegedly involved in registering bogus firms for performing GST scam.

A secret information was received about the applicants Rajesh Mittal, Inder Partap Singh and Manish that they were creating bogus firms and by transacting with bigger firms, they were getting huge amounts of money deposited in the account numbers of the said fake bogus firms so as to save GST and are thus causing huge loss to the State Exchequer on account of loss of revenue. The information further contained that the accused were moving about in a car along with laptops and were waiting for someone near T-point railway line grain market., Chandni Bagh, Panipat District. The police swung into action and were able to apprehend the aforesaid accused Rajesh Mittal, Inder Pratap Singh and Manish. On searching the car, Laptops, Cheque Books, Fake stamps of ETO, Fake rubber-stamps of DTC and Files of bogus firms were also recovered.

The car was found to be registered in the name of Vipul Jindal, who happens to be ‘jija’ (brother-in-law) of Rajesh Mittal. During the course of the investigation, the police were able to unearth the entire racket of evasion of GST.

It was found that Rajesh Mittal was the kingpin who issued bogus bills purported to have been issued by one M/s Lalit Trading Company, which was in fact out of business. Such bogus bills were issued in favour of 18 firms in respect of a bogus transaction of sale of yarn. The said 18 firms had been got incorporated/registered by associating persons of the status of rickshaw pullers etc. and were not actually businessmen. It was further found that in the bills issued by M/s Lalit Trading Company in favour of the said 18 bogus firms (non-functional firms), GST was also shown to have been charged.

The Advocate arrested in connection, Satnarain, had submitted that his services were hired by Rajesh Mittal for the purpose of getting some firms registered and he had rendered professional consultancy and assistance in the matter of incorporation/ registration of firms and had charged some nominal professional fee which cannot be said to be part and parcel of the alleged scam of evasion of GST. Justice Guruvinder Singh Gill while disposing of the petition held, “In view of the aforesaid discussion, the complicity of the kingpin Rajesh Mittal and also of Manish, owner of M/s Ansh Hospitality and of petitioner Inder Partap Singh, owner of M/s Shree Bala Ji Wooltax, is clearly evident. Keeping in view the enormity of the scam and the colossal loss caused to the State exchequer, which has lost GST, this Court does not find any ground for grant of bail. The petitions on their behalf, as such, are dismissed. As far as the petitioner Satnarain is concerned, it is not disputed that he is an Advocate by profession. It appears that he had rendered his professional services and assistance for the purpose of incorporation of the firms. At this stage, it cannot be said that he had joined hands with Rajesh Mittal or as the beneficiary of any amount other than his professional fee. In any case, since he has already been behind bars since the last about 8 months, his further detention will not serve any useful purpose. The petition on his behalf, as such, is accepted and the petitioner-Satnarain is ordered to be released on regular bail on his furnishing bail bonds/surety bonds to the satisfaction of learned trial Court/Chief Judicial Magistrate/Duty Magistrate concerned.”

Taxscan had earlier reported about the ruling of the Punjab and Haryana High Court itself wherein it ruled immunity from Arrest of Chartered Accountant or Advocates who had filed Returns but are not beneficiary or part of fraud without any Corroborative Evidence.

Read more at: https://www.taxscan.in/punjab-haryana-hc-grants-bail-advocate-allegedly-involved-gst-scam/50976/

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