The present order shall dispose of an application under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C moved by petitioner Satinder Kumar Singla.
2. Briefly said, it is the contention of the applicant that he was arrested in the present case on 12.11.2020 in connection with the matter referred as file no. C.No. IV(6)DGGI/RRU/INV/25/20 18-19 U/s 132( 1)(b), 132(1)(c), 132(1)(1)(i) of CGST Act, 2017. Thereafter, he was produced before the Magistrate on 13.11.2020 and was remanded to judicial custody for the above mentioned case. The period of 60 days of custody of the petitioner had expired on 11.01.2021. The investigation of this case file, in which the petitioner was arrested, has not yet completed and still continues to be under investigation. The Directorate has not submitted any investigation report after completion of investigation in the above stated case file before this court till date. The complaint, if any, filed by the said Directorate without completion of investigation is only an effort to mislead this court. The petitioner is entitled to benefit of bail under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C because of incomplete investigation in this case till date. The partial investigation report is not sufficient to deprive the petitioner of benefit of bail under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. In this regard, the Ld. Counsel for the petitioner relies upon the judgment passed in the case of Ravinder @ Binder Vs. State of Haryana 2015(4) R.C.R. (Criminal) 441; as well as Rakesh Kumar Paul Vs. State of Assam (SLA) (Criminal) of 2009 of 2017 and the case of M. Ravindran Vs. Intelligence Officer in Criminal Appeal No. 699 of 2020.
3. Concluding his submissions, the Ld. Counsel has submitted that earlier the bail application under Section 437 Cr.P.C was dismissed by this court vide order dated 19.11.2020. The petitioner has not filed any other bail application in the matter. He requests that the present application may kindly be allowed and the petitioner may be ordered to be released from custody on furnishing bail bonds to the satisfaction of this court.
4. Refuting these contentions, the Ld. Counsel for the respondent appearing through video conferencing has submitted that the present complaint filed in this case on 11.01.2021 is in response and conclusion of investigation in file no. C.No. IV(6)DGGI/RRU/INV/25/2018-19 U/s 132(1)(b), 132(1)(c), 132(1)(1)(i) of CGST Act, 2017. He further submits that the present case under the statute is to be tried as a complaint case and, hence, a complaint after completion of investigation in the aforesaid case file has been submitted before this court. Hence, non-mentioning of file number in the complaint is of no consequence. Moreover, the averments made in the remand application in this case moved at previous date of hearing mentions the same facts which are now put before this court in the form of the formal complaint after completion of the investigation in the aforesaid file number case. The Ld. Counsel has further submitted at bar that investigation in aforesaid file has been completed and the papers submitted on 11.01.2021 before this court are a result of culmination of investigation in this case. He requests that no right of bail under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C is made out.
5. I have heard the Ld. Counsel for both the sides at length & perused the record very carefully.
6. This application has been preferred under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C asserting that the case papers/challan filed before this court on 11.01.2021 does not relate to file no. C.No. IV(6)DGGI/RRU/INV/25/2018-19 U/s 132(1)(b), 132(1) (c), 132(1)(1)(i) of CGST Act, 2017 and the said papers do not anywhere mentioned that it is filed after completion of investigation in the said file no. C.No. IV(6)DGGI/RRU/INV/ 25/2018-19 U/s 132(1)(b), 132(1)(c), 132(1)(1)(i) of CGST Act, 2017.
7. In this regard, the Ld. Standing counsel for the respondent has stated at bar, as already mentioned herein before, that papers/complaint submitted on 11.01.2021 have been filed in relation to the aforesaid file no. C.No. IV(6)DGGI/RRU/INV/25/20 18-19 U/s 132(1)(b), 132(1)(c), 132(1)(1)(i) of CGST Act, 2017 and, after, the completion of investigation in that matter. The complaint, as mentioned above, has been filed as the matter is liable to be treated as a complaint case as per the statute.
8. It is also a matter of record that the averments made in the complaint are clearly in respect of the averments made in the first application for judicial custody of the accused moved in this case. It has been also submitted by the Ld. standing counsel for the respondent that no other case against the present applicant/accused is pending with the department and, hence, there is no reason to say that the present complaint is a different complaint from the initial file no. C.No. IV(6)DGGI/RRU/INV/25/20 18-19 U/s 132(1)(b), 132(1)(c), 132(1)(1)(i) of CGST Act, 2017.
9. This court finds reason in the submissions made by the Ld. Standing counsel for the respondent department. Moreover, it is insignificant that the complaint filed on 11.01.2021 against the present applicant/accused does not specifically mentions that it is filed after the culmination of investigation and in furtherance of the above mentioned file number. The mere fact that this complaint was filed by the complainant department in the above mentioned file number is sufficient to establish that it is indeed filed in response to it and after completion of investigation.
10. For the same reasons it can also not be said that the complaint filed on 11.01.2021 is incomplete. It, thereby, distinguishes the present matter from the judgments relied upon by the Ld. Counsel for the applicant.
11. Record of the case reveals that the applicant was apprehended in this case on 12.11.2020 and produced before the Magistrate on 13.11.2020. The statutory period as provided under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C i.e. 60 days had expired on 11.01.2021. The complaint/final report in this case were submitted before this court on 11.01.2021 itself. The application in hand has moved on 13.01.2021 i.e. 2 days after filing of the complaint/final report in the matter.
12. For the reasons discussed herein above this court is of the opinion that the contentions raised on behalf of the applicant are not covered under the provisions of 167(2) Cr.P.C. Consequently, the application is hereby dismissed.
13. Nothing herein shall be deemed to have any bearing on merits of present case.