This matter is taken up through Hybrid Arrangement (Video Conferencing/Physical Mode). Heard Mr. R.S. Samal, learned counsel for the petitioner and Mr. Sunil Mishra, learned Addl. Standing Counsel for CT & GST.
Pursuant to the order dated 07.12.2021, Mr. Manmath Kumar Pradhan, Deputy Commissioner of State Tax, CT & GST Enforcement Unit, Bhubaneswar is present. He placed different provisions of the Odisha Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 (hereafter ‘2017 Act’) like sections 67, 69, 132 and 134.
There is no dispute that the case arises out of a complaint petition which was filed by the Deputy Commissioner of State Tax, CT & GST, Enforcement Unit, Bhubaneswar against the petitioner of this case. Mr. Pradhan submitted that in this case, the petitioner was arrested on 31.12.2020 and produced in the Court of learned S.D.J.M., Bhubaneswar on 31.12.2020 along with the complaint petition and accordingly, 2(c) C.C. Case no. 82 of 2020 was registered. Mr. Pradhan further stated that after filing of the complaint case, even though cognizance of the offence was taken, but the complainant investigated the matter and ultimately prosecution report was submitted to the Commissioner of C.T. & G.S.T. for perusal and to accord sanction as per section 134 of the 2017 Act and ultimately the prosecution report was filed after obtaining sanction before the learned Magistrate.
When a query was made referring to section 202 of Cr.P.C. as to whether any permission is granted by the concerned Magistrate to carry out the investigation or not and how the petitioner named as an accused in the complaint petition was arrested even before filing of the complaint petition without following the settled principles of law in the case of Inder Mohan Goswami and another -Vrs.- State of Uttaranchal and others (2008)29 Orissa Criminal Reports (SC) 188, Mr. Pradhan and Mr. Sunil Mishra, learned Addl. Standing Counsel for C.T. & G.S.T. seek some time to address this Court on the said query.
In the case of Inder Mohan Goswami (supra), it has been held as follows:
“54. In complaint cases, at the first instance, the Court should direct serving of the summons along with the copy of the complaint. If the accused seem to be avoiding the summons, the Court, in the second instance should issue bailable- warrant. In the third instance, when the Court is fully satisfied that the accused is avoiding the Court proceeding intentionally, the process of issuance of the non-bailable warrant should be resorted to. Personal liberty is paramount, therefore, we caution Courts at the first and second instance to refrain from issuing nonbailable warrants.”
It prima facie appears that the ratio laid down in the aforesaid case has not been followed while arresting the petitioner directly in the complaint case and producing him in Court.
Since the learned Addl. Standing Counsel for C.T. & G.S.T. is seeking for adjournment of the case and the petitioner is in custody for a period of about one year and the offence is triable by Magistrate, I am inclined to release him on interim bail for a period of four weeks from the date of release.
The learned Court in seisin over the matter shall release the petitioner on interim bail for the aforesaid period in connection with P.R. No. 2(A)/2020-21 dated 31.12.2020 of CT & GST Enforcement Unit, Bhubaneswar corresponding to 2(c) C.C. Case no. 82 of 2020 pending in the Court of learned S.D.J.M., Bhubaneswar with the following conditions:
(i) He shall furnish cash security of ₹ 1,00,000/-( one lakhs) and bail bond of ₹ 2,00,000.00 (rupees two lakhs) with two local solvent sureties each for the like amount to the satisfaction of the learned Court in seisin over the matter;
(ii) He shall appear before the Investigating Officer as and when required and cooperate with the investigation and for such purpose the Investigating Officer shall give a notice to the petitioner either in e-mail or whatsapp, the account details of which shall be provided by the petitioner to the Court at the time of release on bail;
(iii) He shall appear before the learned Court below on expiry of the aforesaid period of four weeks;
(iv) He shall not try to tamper with the evidence.
In the event the petitioner flouts any of the terms and conditions of the interim bail order, the same shall be brought to the notice of the Court below for taking necessary action for cancelling the bail bonds in accordance with law and taking him to custody.
List this matter on 5th January 2022. The matter will be taken up at 2.00 p.m.
The Deputy Commissioner of State Tax, CT & GST, Enforcement Unit, Bhubaneswar shall remain present on the next date.
The entire order sheet of the Court below shall be obtained in the meantime and for such purpose the file be placed before the learned Registrar (Judicial) of this Court, who shall send a copy of this order to the Court concerned immediately through email and the entire order-sheet of the Court concerned shall be furnished through e-mail so as to reach this Court on or before 3rd January 2022.
The written note of submission filed by the learned counsel for the petitioner is taken on record. Issue urgent certified copy be granted on proper application in course of the day.
Let a free copy of this order be handed over to the learned Addl. Standing Counsel for C.T. & G.S.T