The Gujarat High Court has granted interim relief to a petitioner stating that no further proceedings shall be taken against him in the criminal complaint registered by the CGST department in an alleged case of a bogus input tax credit.
The petition stated that two different complaints have been filed against the petitioner by the SGST (State Goods and Service Tax) and the CGST (Central Goods and Service Tax) in the same offence.
A petition filed by Rajesh Mundra through advocate Vishal Dave and Avinash Poddar submitted that registration of a second complaint by the CGST on the same subject matter despite the existence of a first complaint by the state SGST department is nothing but an abuse of the process of law.
The petitioner cannot be tried again for the same offence as it attracts the doctrine of double jeopardy.
What is the petitioner’s argument against CGST?
It is stated that before the complaint of the CGST department, a complaint in the same case was filed against the petitioner by the SGST Department under Section 132 of Gujarat Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017.
The petitioner was arrested by SGST department Surat on February 1, 2020, and was subsequently released on bail on March 7, 2020.
The petition said that as the SGST has already started an investigation, the CGST ought to have passed on any new information to the SGST for further investigation instead of registering a second complaint based on the same facts.
The department thus subsequently illegally arrested the petitioner, the petition stated.
It also submitted that earlier the state SGST department had applied for cancellation of bail of the petitioner which was rejected by the Surat court. In the offence filed by the CGST also the petitioner got arrested and was released on bail by the court.
It is further alleged in the petition that the state SGST department had arrested the petitioner for the alleged offence in respect of 14 firms, whereas the CGST complaint is based on further intelligence in the alleged offence concerning additional 19 firms.
Therefore as per the complaint, it is alleged that the petitioner was involved in committing the offence pertaining to 33 firms in total.
The petitioner moved Gujarat High Court for quashing of the criminal complaint filed by CGST on June 11. The complaint by CGST was filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Surat.
What is the case
The petitioner was allegedly involved in operating fake firms by obtaining PAN Card and other personal documents of others. He then claimed bogus bogus Input Tax Credit in respect of such fake firms and used the ITC for payment of tax against outward supplies declared in Form GSTR – 3B returns filed by these firms.
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