The Supreme Court granted bail in the Tax Evasion case.
The petitioner before the Court, assailed the order, passed by the High Court of Judicature at Rajasthan, Bench at Jaipur. Through the said order the High Court has dismissed the application filed by the petitioner under Section 439 of Code of Criminal Procedure seeking bail in the proceedings for the offence alleged against him under Section 132(1)(a),(h),(k) and (l) read with Section 132(5) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.
The gist of the allegations against the petitioner in the prosecution initiated against him is that the petitioner had clandestinely transported raw unmanufactured tobacco brought from Gujarat by 7 trucks weighing 90,520 kgs.
It is alleged that raw tobacco was cleared in the name of M/s Maa Ambey Enterprises, Bakoli from M/s Arihant Traders, Kheda, Gujarat but the said trucks went to Patparganj Area to M/s Galaxy Tobacco in Delhi.
It is further alleged that the said quantity of unmanufactured tobacco has been apparently used in the clandestine manufacture and supply of chewing tobacco without payment of leviable duties and tax.
The division bench of Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice Hima Kohli said that since the matter in any event is at large before the trial court and any observations on merits would prejudice the case of the parties.
The court noted that the petitioner was arrested on 21.07.2022 and while in custody, the investigation has been completed and the charge sheet has been filed.
It was stated that even if it is taken note that the alleged evasion of tax by the petitioner is to the extent as provided under Section 132(1)(l)(i), the punishment provided is imprisonment which may extend to 5 years and fine.
“The ocular evidence will be through official witnesses, due to which there can be no apprehension of tampering, intimidating or influencing. Therefore, keeping all these aspects in perspective, in the facts and circumstances of the present case, we find it proper to grant the prayer made by the petitioner” the court said.
The bench directed that the petitioner be released on bail subject to the conditions to be imposed by the trial Court, which among others, shall also include the condition to direct the petitioner to deposit his passport.
Case title: Ratnambar Kaushik v/s Union of India
Citation: Petition for special leave to appeal (crl.) no.10319 of 2022