(1) By way of the present successive bail application filed under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 the applicant seeks regular bail in connection with File No. CCST/DCST/ENF-CO-AC-1/PARESH CHAUHAN CASE/2019-20/B-42 dated 27.02.2020 filed in Criminal Case No.22104 of 2020, which is pending before the trial court.
(2) The petitioner has been arrested for the offence punishable under section 132 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017. The principal allegation against the petitioner is of his having obtained the tax credit to an extent of about ₹ 60 Crores through 35 fictitious firms allegedly established by him in connivance with other persons for claiming tax credit on the goods not sold by raising fake and bogus invoices.
(3) Learned Senior Advocate Mr.Shalin Mehta has pointed out that in similar set of facts in other case vide order dated 23.04.2021 passed in Special Misc. Application No.156 of 2021, the accused has been released by the coordinate bench on regular bail by considering the fact that the accused was behind bars since 06.01.2020 and also that all the co-accused have been enlarged on bail by the trial Court. Learned Senior Advocate has further submitted that though the case of the prosecution is that many persons are involved, only the applicant is arrested.
It is submitted that the applicant is behind bars since around 16 months and, therefore, he may be released on bail. It is submitted that almost ₹ 40,00,00,000/- has been recovered, hence the applicant may be released on regular bail.
(4) I have considered the submissions advanced the learned senior advocate appearing for the applicant
(5) The captioned application is second successive bail application. Initially, the application seeking regular bail being Criminal Misc. Application No.6237 of 2020 was rejected by the coordinate bench of this Court vide order dated 05.05.2020. The said order was challenged by the applicant before the Supreme Court in Special Leave to Appeal (Cri) No.4050 of 2020. The same was dismissed vide order dated 03.09.2020 by observing thus:
“After some time, learned counsel for the petitioner seeks permission to withdraw the petition.
The Special Leave Petition is dismissed”.
Thereafter, the applicant filed a successive application seeking regular bail being Criminal Misc. Application No.3433 of 2021. Vide order dated 26.04.2021, the same was dismissed by observing thus:
“Thereafter, the present application is filed seeking the same prayer. This Court is of the considered opinion that there is no substantial change in circumstances after the rejection of the earlier application.
The aspect of recovery of amount of ₹ 14,10,87,517/- till 17.03.2020 as mentioned in the affidavit dated 08.04.2020 was before the passing of the order dated 05.05.2020 by this Court in Criminal Misc. Application No.6237 of 2020. Thereafter, it appears that in the further affidavit dated 17.12.2020 filed by Assistant Sales Tax Commissioner, it is stated that a recovery total recovery of ₹ 36.94 crore is effected till 01.12.2020. As observed by this Court in the order dated 05.05.2020, there are 92 beneficiary firms which are under scrutiny.
There is loss of ₹ 60 crores to the public exchequer and owing to timely detection such a huge racket has been unearthed. The investigation is still in progress, hence the release of the applicant at this stage will be a potential threat to the investigation. 6. Under the circumstance and in light of the aforesaid order dated 05.05.2020 passed by this Court, and in absence Page 3 of 4 Downloaded on : Tue Jul 06 20:48:04 IST 2021 R/CR.MA/3433/2021 ORDER of any substantial change in circumstances, this Court is not inclined to grant any relief to applicant. The application deserves to be dismissed and is accordingly dismissed. Rule is discharged.”.
Thus, the Court looking to the seriousness of the offence and lack of change in circumstances, rejected the application of the applicant.
(6) After, the aforesaid rejection, the captioned application is yet again filed seeking the regular bail. In the considered opinion of this court, after the aforementioned orders were passed rejecting the applications, no substantial change in circumstances or any exceptional aspect has been pointed out by the applicant, which would warrant his release on bail under the provision of section 439 of the Cr.P.C.
(7) Hence, the application stands rejected.