Court Buzz, GST

The object of bail is to secure the appearance of the accused at trial by reasonable amount of bail : P&H HC

Case: Ranjit Singh v/s State of Haryana

Forum: Punjab & Haryana High Court


The Petitioner filed a petition seeking quashing of the condition in order dated 08.04.2020, passed by the Addl.Sessions Judge, Panipat whereby, while granting bail to the Petitioner, he has been directed to furnish bail bonds of Rs.50,00,000/- with one surety of like amount, to the satisfaction of the Learned Ilaqa Magistrate/Duty Magistrate. Similarly, he has been directed to pay the outstanding liability of Rs.1,94,78,017/- along with interest which is stated to be in respect of his firm, M/s Maa Karni Yarns under Haryana Goods & Services Tax Act, 2017. Certain other conditions had been also imposed regarding submitting of passport and joining investigation and abiding by all conditions envisaged under Section 438 Cr.P.C., apart from directions not to influence or threaten the witness of the prosecution.

Key points

The Ld. counsel for the Petitioner, argued that the said onerous conditions resulted in practically denying the grant of bail to the Petitioner as he is not in a position to pay the said outstanding amount. It was further submitted that there is a presumption of innocence against the accused and a finding has to be recorded by a competent Court of jurisdiction that the Petitioner is guilty and since a complaint has been filed under the relevant provisions, the said condition is on the wrong prior assumption that the petitioner is guilty. Vide the impugned order, direction has, thus, been issued for recovery of the amount which is not permissible as it amounts to prejudging the issue.

The Hon’ble HC held that the Learned Additional Sessions Judge though came to a finding that the offence would be for liability of M/s Maa Karni Yarns for Rs.1,94,78,017/- which would thus make the offence bailable under Section 69(3) and Section 132(4)of the Haryana CGST Act but inspite of that imposed the onerous condition which has led to the Petitioner continuing to be in incarceration. The said condition thus suffers from the vice of unreasonability and cannot stand the test of judicial scrutiny in view of the law discussed above.

Accordingly, the petition was accepted. The condition of payment of Rs.1,94,78,017/- along with interest is set aside. The bail bonds of Rs.50 lakhs with one surety are reduced to Rs.25 lakhs which would be in the form of immoveable property, to the satisfaction of the Ilaqa/Duty Magistrate, Panipat. The order of the Addl.Sessions Judge dated 08.04.2020 is, accordingly, modified, whereas the other conditions would remain intact.

Vox Analytica GST
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