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18 June 2021

Bail can be granted if the assesse has been in custody for a long period.

Recently, in the matter of Sandeep Goyal vs Union of India [2020] 122 taxmann.com290 (Rajasthan), allegations labelled against petitioners were that they had formed 75 fake firms and had issued GST invoices of taxable value of Rs. 1163.13 crores involving GST of Rs. 102.18 crores without any physical movement of good. Therefore, petitioners were arrested for offence punishable under Section 132 of CGST Act 2017 and were in custody since 3-8-2018 till the date of order (13-10-2020). Honorable High Court of Rajasthan held that although allegations levelled against the petitioners are serious in nature but the fact remains that the petitioners are in custody for the last more than two years and admittedly maximum punishment to be imposed on the accused, if convicted, is five years and petitioners be admitted to bail subject to each of them furnishing bail bond of specified amount and shall not leave the country without prior permission of the Court.

Similar view was held by High Court of Rajasthan in the case of Mohit Vijay vs Union of India wherein petitioner was in custody for offence committed under Section 132 of CGST Act 2017 and sought bail for the same. In view of fact that petitioner was already in jail for 450 days and no further investigation or recovery was required to be made, petitioner was ordered to be release on bail.

Further, in the matter of Aditya Gupta vs Union of India wherein assessee for offence punishable under section 132(1)(i) was in custody since 20-6-2018 till the date of order (4-12-2020) and allegations levelled against him were that he had committed fraud to tune of Rs. 22 crores by creating fictitious firms, considering custody period of assessee, he be admitted to bail by High Court of Rajasthan.