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Case Law Details

Case Name : Mohammad Shadab Kadri Vs Union Of India (Rajasthan High Court)
Appeal Number : S.B. Criminal Miscellaneous Bail Application No. 2299/2022
Date of Judgement/Order : 06/04/2023
Related Assessment Year :

Mohammad Shadab Kadri Vs Union Of India (Rajasthan High Court)

Introduction: The Rajasthan High Court recently addressed the bail application of Mohammad Shadab Kadri, filed under Section 439 Cr.P.C., arising from a complaint under Sections 132 (1) (b), (f), (h), (j), & (l) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017. The case revolves around allegations of tax evasion and fraudulent practices, amounting to substantial financial implications.

Detailed Analysis: In the court proceedings, Kadri’s legal representation argued vehemently against his implication in the case, highlighting discrepancies in the chargesheet and drawing comparisons to similar cases where bail was granted. The defense emphasized the lack of evidence implicating Kadri in the creation of fake firms or availing illegal tax benefits.

Conversely, the respondent, represented by the Senior Standing Counsel, presented evidence suggesting Kadri’s involvement in creating multiple fake firms and benefiting from substantial input tax credit. Reference to legal precedents and observations from the Hon’ble Apex Court underscored the gravity of economic offenses and the need for stringent measures in such cases.

The court, after considering arguments from both sides, acknowledged the seriousness of the allegations against Kadri. Recognizing the potential magnitude of financial implications, the court imposed a significant condition for bail. Kadri was granted bail on the condition of depositing a substantial sum of Rs. 5 Crores before the respondent Department, ‘under protest’.

Conclusion: The Rajasthan High Court’s ruling in Mohammad Shadab Kadri’s bail application reflects the judiciary’s cautious approach towards economic offenses. While acknowledging the gravity of the charges, the court exercised discretion by granting bail with stringent conditions. This case underscores the legal complexities surrounding financial crimes and the balancing act between ensuring justice and safeguarding individual rights.

FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT

1. The present bail application has been filed under Section 439 Cr.P.C. arising out of complaint No. DGGI/INV/GST/227/2022-GR-D O/o ADG-DGGI-ZU-JAIPUR for the offence(s) under Sections 132 (1) (b), (f), (h), (j), & (l) of Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.

2. Learned senior counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner has been wrongly implicated in this case. He is behind the bars since 24.01.2022. Learned senior counsel for the petitioner further submits that as per the charge-sheet, petitioner had three firms in his name. Rest of the firms are of co-accused Mohammed Ali Akram Khan. Learned senior counsel for the petitioner further submits that case of the petitioner is similar to Dananjay Singh, who has been enlarged on bail by this Court. Learned senior counsel for the petitioner further submits that offence against the petitioner is triable by a Magistrate, which is compoundable and having maximum punishment of 5 years. There is no evidence that petitioner had ever created fake firms and availed input tax credit benefit. Learned senior counsel for the petitioner further submits that co-accused Pramod was not arrested by the Authority concerned because he had deposited Rs.5.00 Crores. Conclusion of trial may take long time. Hence, the petitioner may be enlarged on bail.

3. Learned senior counsel for the petitioner has placed reliance upon the following judgments: (1) Satender Kumar Antil Vs. Central Bureau of Investigation & Ors. in Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No.5191/2021 decided on 07.10.2021; (2) Satender Kumar Antil Vs. Central Bureau of Investigation & Ors. in Miscellaneous Application No.1849/2021 in Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No.5191/2021 decided on 11.07.2022; (3) Sanjay Chandra VS. CBI in Criminal Appeal No.2178/2011 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No.5650/2011 decided on 23.11.2011; (4) Mohit Vijay VS. Union of India in S.B. Criminal Misc. Bail Application No.7605/2019 decided on 02.06.2020; (5) Pradeep Kumar Bansal Vs. Union of India in S.B. Criminal Misc. Bail Application No.12093/2020 decided on 04.11.2020; (6) Manoj Vijay Vs. Union of India in S.B. Criminal Misc. Bail Application No.8906/2021 decided on 04.08.2021; (7) Nitin Kumar Sharma Vs. Union of India in S.B. Criminal Misc. Bail Application No.13445/2021 decided on 28.09.2021; (8) Shailesh Chandra Vs. DGGI & Anr. in S.B. Criminal Misc. Bail Application No.15046/2021 decided on 01.10.2021; (9)Dananjay Singh Vs. Union of India in S.B. Criminal Misc. Bail Application No.18825/2021 decided on 05.02.2022; (10) Ankit Vijay Vs. Union of India & Anr. in S.B. Criminal Misc. Bail Application No.12963/2021 decided on 07.03.2022; (11) Lakshya Agarwal Vs. DGGI & Anr. in S.B. Criminal Misc. Bail Application No.20392/2021 decided on 08.03.2022 and (12) Dipanshu Gupta Vs. Union of India in S.B. Criminal Misc. Bail Application No.3399/2022 decided on 13.04.2022.

4. Learned Senior Standing Counsel for the respondent has opposed the arguments advanced by learned senior counsel for the petitioner and submitted that petitioner and co-accused Mohammed Ali Akram Khan had made seven fake firms and took Rs.88,33,81,971/- as input tax credit benefit. Learned Senior Standing Counsel for the respondent also submitted that case of Dananjay Singh is not similar to the petitioner because Dananjay Singh had not made any fake firms. Learned Senior Standing Counsel for the respondent also submitted that petitioner has committed economic offence against the nation. Hon’ble Apex Court in various pronouncement has observed that economic offence should not be dealt as a general offence and also submitted that in the case of Vinay Kant Ameta, Hon’ble Apex Court had directed him to deposit Rs.200 Crores for granting bail. So, if this court directs the petitioner to deposit loss of input tax credit of nearing Rs.88.33 Crores, then, respondent shall not have any objection for granting bail to the petitioner otherwise the bail filed by the petitioner be dismissed.

5. Learned Senior Standing Counsel for the respondent has placed reliance upon the following judgments: (1) Satender Kumar Antil Vs. Central Bureau of Investigation & Ors. in Miscellaneous Application No.1849/2021 in Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No.5191/2021; (2) Nimmagadda Prasad Vs. CBI reported in (2013) 7 SCC 466; (3) Yashik Jindal Vs. Union of India in S.B. Criminal Misc. Bail Application No.14792/2022 decided on 16.12.2022; (4) Lalit Goyal Vs. Union Of India in Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No.3509/2022 decided on 26.08.2022; (5) Lalit Goyal Vs. Union Of India in S.B. Criminal Miscellaneous Bail Application No. 13042/2021 decided on 07.09.2021; (6) Dinesh Bhabootmal Salecha Vs. The Directorate of Revenue & Anr. in Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No.308/2023 decided on 13.01.2023; (7) Basudev Mittal Vs. Union of India in Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No.8128/2022 decided on 12.12.2022; (8) Basudev Mittal Vs. Union of India in MCRC No.3919/2022 decided on 15.07.2022; (9) Sandeep Goyal Vs. Union of India in Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No.1803/2020 decided on 17.04.2020; (10) Sandeep Goyal Vs. Union of India in S.B. Criminal Misc. III Bail Application No.1521/2020 decided on 05.02.2020; (11) Vinay Kant Ameta Vs. Union of India in Criminal Appeal No.60/2022 (SLP (Crl.) No.9564/2021) decided on 10.01.2022 and (12) Gaurav Kakkar VS. Directorate General of GST Intelligence in S.B. Criminal Misc. Bail Application No.17536/2022 decided on 11.01.2023.

6. I have considered the arguments advanced by learned senior counsel for the petitioner as well as learned Senior Standing Counsel for the respondent.

7. It is an admitted position that petitioner had evaded the tax and got the benefit of input tax credit of nearing Rs.88.33 Crores. Hon’ble Apex Court in various pronouncement observed that economic offender should not be dealt as a general offender and in circumstances while granting bail to Vinay Kant Ameta directed him to deposit Rs.200 Crores.

8. Considering the contentions put-forth by the counsel for the parties and taking into account the facts and circumstances of the case and without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, this court deems it just and proper to enlarge the petitioner on bail with a condition to deposit Rs.5 Crores by the petitioner before the respondent Department ‘under protest’.

9. Accordingly, the bail application under Section 439 Cr.P.C. is allowed and it is ordered that the accused-petitioner Mohammad Shadab Kadri S/o Late Abdul Rehman Khan be enlarged on bail provided he furnishes a personal bond in the sum of Rs.50,000/- with two sureties of Rs.25,000/- each to the satisfaction of the learned trial court with the stipulation that he will appear before the trial court on all subsequent dates of hearing and as and when called upon to do so.

10. Trial court is directed to take the receipt with regard to deposition of Rs.5 Crores by the petitioner on record before attesting his bail bonds.

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