Hardik Ishwarbhai Panchal vs. State Of Gujarat
(Gujarat High Court, Gujrat)

Case Law
Petitioner / Applicant
Hardik Ishwarbhai Panchal
State Of Gujarat
Gujarat High Court
Feb 21, 2022
Order No.
TR Citation
2022 (2) TR 5983
Related HSN Chapter/s
Related HSN Code


1. This application is filed by the applicant under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for regular bail in connection with File No. DGGI/AZU/GR’ A’/12(4)290/202021 registered with Directorate General of Goods and Service Tax Intelligence, Zonal Unit, Ahmedabad, for the offence punishable under Sections 132(1)(b), 132(1)(c) and 132(1)(k) of the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017.

2. Learned Senior advocate appearing on behalf of the applicant submits that considering the nature of offence, the applicant may be enlarged on regular bail by imposing suitable conditions.

3. On the other hand, the learned Additional Public Prosecutor appearing for the respondent-State has opposed grant of regular bail looking to the nature and gravity of the offence.

4. Learned Senior Advocate appearing for the respondent Department submitted that investigation is complex and still going on and magnitude of ITC claims are breached to Rs.217 crores. Co-accused who have been enlarged, were on the lower end of the chain and were merely stooge by the applicant and their bail has been considered on account of the default in filing the complaint as the investigation was complicated.

5. Learned Senior Advocate appearing for the respondent Department further submitted that the investigation is still pending, though the complaint has been filed, but considering the complexity of the investigation, there are three major points, which are still under investigation namely supplier of the invoices and the buyer of such invoices, are still to be identified and the money trail through the Angadia, is yet to be found out.

6. Learned Advocates appearing on behalf of the respective parties do not press for a further reasoned order.

7. I have heard the learned advocates appearing on behalf of the respective parties and perused the papers. Following aspects are considered :

I) Investigation is concluded as the complaint has been filed.

II) The applicant is in custody since 22082021;

III) Learned Senior Advocate for the applicant submitted that co-accused who were also part of the system in claiming fraud ITC, have been enlarged on default bail.

IV) Considering the maximum sentence of 5 years.

V) Learned Senior Advocate for the applicant under instruction submitted that the applicant is ready and wiling to deposit an amount of Rupees One Crore Only within the period of six months;

VI) Learned Additional Public Prosecutor under the instructions of the Investigating Officer is unable to bring on record any special circumstances against the applicant.

This Court has taken into consideration the law laid down by the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Sanjay Chandra v. Central Bureau of Investigation reported in [2012] 1 SCC 40.

8. In the facts and circumstances of the case and considering the nature of the allegations made against the applicant in the First Information Report, without discussing the evidence in detail, prima facie, this Court is of the opinion that this is a fit case to exercise the discretion and enlarge the applicant on regular bail.

9. Hence, the present application is allowed. The applicant is ordered to be released on regular bail in connection with File No. DGGI/AZU/GR’A’/12(4)290/202021 registered with Directorate General of Goods and Service Tax Intelligence, Zonal Unit, Ahmedabad, on executing a personal bond of Rs.10,000/= (Rupees Ten Thousand Only) with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial Court and subject to the conditions that he shall;

(a) not take undue advantage of liberty or misuse liberty;

(b) not act in a manner injurious to the interest of the prosecution & shall not obstruct or hamper the police investigation and shall not to play mischief with the evidence collected or yet to be collected by the police;

(c) surrender passport, if any, to the Trial Court within a week;

(d) not leave the State of Gujarat without prior permission of the Trial Court concerned;

(e) mark presence before the concerned Police Station once in a month for a period of six months between 11.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m.;

(f) shall deposit an amount of Rupees One Crore Only periodically within the period of six months from the date of his release before the Department and First installment to be paid on or before 14.03.2022 and file an undertaking to that effect within the period of one week from the date of his release before this Court.;

(g) furnish the present address of his residence to the Investigating Officer and also to the Court at the time of execution of the bond and shall not change the residence without prior permission of Trial Court;

10. The authorities will release the applicant only if he is not required in connection with any other offence for the time being. If breach of any of the above conditions is committed, the Sessions Judge concerned will be free to issue warrant or take appropriate action in the matter.

11. Bail bond to be executed before the lower Court having jurisdiction to try the case. It will be open for the concerned Court to delete, modify and/or relax any of the above conditions, in accordance with law.

12. At the trial, the trial Court shall not be influenced by the observations of preliminary nature qua the evidence at this stage made by this Court while enlarging the applicant on bail.

13. The application is allowed in the aforesaid terms. Rule is made absolute to the aforesaid extent. Direct Service is permitted.

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