CA Sandeep Kanoi
Facts :- The applicant had collected Rs.2.59 Cores of Service Tax during the period 2010-2011 to 2013-2014 but had not deposited the said amount except Rs.15 Lakhs. The applicant had in fact never filed any service tax returns and as such knowingly utilized the Government monies for his personal use.
High Court Judgment
In the considered opinion of this Court, it being continuing offence the entire outstanding amount to be deposited with the Central Government in the present matter is required to be taken into consideration inasmuch as on 10.5.2013 what was the arrears then accrued is required to be taken into account while calculating the amount of Rs.50 Lakhs as contemplated by Section 89(1)(d)(ii) of Finance Act, 1994.
During the arguments it was suggested on behalf of the applicant that he is ready and willing to deposit all the outstanding Service Tax to the Central Government but in a time bound programme. The written schedule of payments was given to the learned Counsel for the Respondent No.1 and he took time to take further instructions from the office of the respondent No.1. Subsequently, on the next date, the learned Counsel for the respondent No.1 stated that the said schedule is not acceptable to the respondent No.1 and insisted that the entire dues of Service Taxes, already collected by the applicant, shall be deposited with the respondent.
In the opinion of this Court considering that it is a continuing offence and as on 10.5.2013 there were huge outstandings definitely beyond the amount of Rs.50 Lakhs and more so said amount was outstanding even at the time of arrest of the applicant, it is not a case in which the applicant can be released on bail more so when the investigation is still going on. Consequently the present application for bail is dismissed and accordingly disposed of.
Please Note that Kolkutta High Court in the case of Sudip Das Vs. Union of India has taken the stand that Service Tax offence for the period prior to 10.05.2013 are bailable