23 Feb 2023 3:00 AM GMT
The Punjab and Haryana High Court granted bail to the person accused of forging bills worth Rs. 367 crores and evading GST payments worth Rs. 26 crores.The single bench of Justice Deepak Sibal has observed that the petitioner has already undergone actual custody for nearly one year and five months. Even if he is convicted, the maximum sentence that can be imposed on him is five years. At...
The Punjab and Haryana High Court granted bail to the person accused of forging bills worth Rs. 367 crores and evading GST payments worth Rs. 26 crores.
The single bench of Justice Deepak Sibal has observed that the petitioner has already undergone actual custody for nearly one year and five months. Even if he is convicted, the maximum sentence that can be imposed on him is five years. At the pre-charge stage, the majority of the prosecution's material witnesses are examined. The proceedings that the petitioner faces are presently at the pre-charge stage, in which 37 prosecution witnesses still remain to be examined, and if the petitioner is even put on trial, the same is likely to take a long time to conclude.
The petitioner managed three firms, two in the name of M/s Shree Shyam Traders and one in the name of M/s Stasya Enterprises. Through the firms, the petitioner availed himself of input tax credit by allegedly fabricating invoices, resulting in the generation of bills worth Rs. 367 crores and evasion of payment of GST to the tune of Rs. 26 crores.
The petitioner sought bail. The petitioner submitted that the petitioner has been falsely implicated in this case. He has been in custody since 21.09.2021. The maximum sentence that can be awarded to him is five years. The investigation in the case is complete, and therefore the petitioner is not in a position to influence it. Even the charges have not yet been framed against the petitioner. 37 prosecution witnesses still remain to be examined at the pre-charge stage, and therefore, if at all the petitioner is put on trial, it will take a long time to conclude. Even otherwise, the evidence collected by the prosecution is primarily documentary in nature. Most of the material witnesses have already been examined at the pre-charge stage, and no serious apprehension has been expressed by the prosecution that the petitioner would either flee from justice or tamper with the evidence in case he is released on bail.
The department opposed the grant of bail to the petitioner on the ground that the petitioner is the main accused in a scam involving evasion of GST to the tune of crores of rupees. In the event that he is released on bail, he is likely to influence the witnesses and, in turn, the course of his trial.
The court stated that it was not the state's fault that the petitioner did not cooperate during the investigation.
The court granted the bail and stated that subject to the satisfaction of the CJM/Duty Magistrate, Gurugram, which shall include the condition of the deposit of the petitioner's valid passport if any, the petitioner is directed to be released on bail.
Case Title: Vijay Garg Versus the State of Haryana and another
Case No.: CRM-M-14003-2022
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (PH) 33
Counsel For Petitioner: Senior Advocate Bipan Ghai, Nikhil Ghai, P.S.Bindra, Sheffaly Goyal
Counsel For Respondent: DAG Rajiv Sidhu
Click Here To Read The Order