No bail to accused for alleged issue of Fake GST Invoices

By | March 3, 2020
(Last Updated On: March 3, 2020)
Naveen Mutreja Vs CGST (Delhi District Court)
Bail Application No. R-243/2020

Naveen Mutreja Vs CGST (Delhi District Court)

This it an application dated 12.02.2020 for grant of anticipatory bail moved on behalf of applicant Naveen Mutreja.

Briefly the facts of the case are that the applicant Naveen Mutreja was found in possession of fake GST invoices of the company. In this regard, for conducting inquiry, summons u/s. 70 of CGST Act, 2017 was issued to the applicant. However, he has failed to appear before the department. Hence, a complaint was registered against him by the department.

Anticipatory bail has been sought on behalf of the applicant on the ground that official of the Superintendent, Anti-evasion, Central Tax, Delhi, had gone at the premises of wife of the applicant to serve the summons u/s. 70 of CGST Act, 2017 whereas in fact, the applicant is living separately and had gone for some personal work at that time. It Is further submitted that present summons sent by the department is illegal and unlawful because the summons sent to the applicant is without DIN number (Documentation Identification Number). The applicant has apprehension of being involved in a false case under pressure for which the Superintendent had summoned the applicant. Hence, the applicant has prayed for grant of anticipatory ball.

As per directions of the court, the accused had joined investigating on 18.02.2020 It is submitted by the Ld. Standing Counsel for the department that his statement was recorded u/s.70 of GST Act, 2017. In that statement, he has admitted running as many as 309 firms, through which he was issuing fake invoices for the purpose of having input credit. Apart from that. it is submitted on behalf of the department that more than eight registers have been seized, out of which five registers have been produced before the court. These registers contain the accounts of these fictitious firms which \v ere only started for the purpose of issuing fake invoices. Registers had been provided by the accountant of applicant namely Vaibhav Rai, who has stated that he was maintaining accounts of this firm on behalf of present applicant. It is further contended that present applicant himself has admitted these registers and account books and stated that they were being maintained on his behalf. He has also admitted entries made in those registers.

Per contra, Ld. Counsel for the applicant has contended that the applicant had reached the office of the department of GST at around 11 a.m. and he was interrogated in detail till 9.00 p.m. whereafter, the officers of the department threatened him that if he did not give statement as per their directions and did not admit alleged account books, the department would implicate his wife, his son and other family members in a false case and under this threat, he gave statement and admitted entries in the registers shown to him and therefore, no significance can be attached to that statement.

I have considered rival submission and i find that the statement given by the applicant to the department u/s. 70 of GST Act and further evidence in the form of statement of accountant Vibhav Rai and the books of account, which have also been admitted by the applicant, are reflecting the existence of a deep rooted systematic conspiracy to cheat  the exchequer. The ground raised on behalf of the applicant is that he was coerced to give the statement. However, it is to be seen that the applicant was given time to join investigation. He was given protection by the court and therefore, without commenting on the merits of the statement or contentions of the applicant that it was taken under coercion, I find that at this stage, it is highly improbable that a person who had court protection could be threatened orally and be made to give such inculpatory statement.

Considering the overall facts and circumstances of the case, I find that this is not a fit rase for grant of anticipatory bail. Therefore, the bail application is dismissed.

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