Delhi court grants interim bail to 18-year-old in GST fraud case

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New Delhi, Jul 19 (PTI) A Delhi court has granted interim bail to an 18-year-old in an alleged GST fraud case registered in Maharashtra, noting that the accused was juvenile at the time of commission of offence in 2019.

Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Kumar admitted the accused on interim bail for seven days considering the COVID-19 pandemic situation and in the interest of justice, subject to various conditions. The accused, who was arrested on July 14 from Delhi's Rohini area, has been asked not to operate his bank accounts during the bail period, co-operate in the investigation and not leave the national capital without the court's permission. The sessions judge granted relief by July 15 order setting aside an order of a Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) passed on the same day, in which three-days transit remand of the accused was granted to the Maharashtra Police to produce him before a Mumbai court. The Additional Sessions Judge noted that from the bare perusal of the order of MM, it is revealed the provisions of Section 9 of Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection Act) were not followed despite the submission of claim of juvenility of the accused.

Advocate Pradeep Rana, counsel of the accused, had challenged the order passed by the MM on the grounds that the judge failed to consider the fact that the accused was juvenile during the commission of crime and called the order “bad in the eye of law.” According to the Additional Public Prosecutor Kumar Sanjay, his arrest was required for the prevention and proper investigation as he had the knowledge of crime and still continues to run it.

The case pertains to alleged GST evasion of more than Rs four crore by a man in Mumbai and transfer of fraudulent money to the bank accounts linked to the mobile number of accused.

During the investigation, the accused disclosed that he was transferring money from one account to another on being guided by his father Dipak Goyal and two others, the prosecutor said. On this, the judge said that since the alleged offence was committed in 2019, therefore it is “prima facie established that the accused was juvenile at the time of the commission of offence” and hence his disclosure statement is not relevant at the current stage. The case was registered on the complaint filed by Swati Laxman Shinde, Assistant Commissioner of State, Sales Tax in Mumbai at DB Marg police station. Prakash Chand Meghwal, Gagan Jindal, Anurag Gupta, Shyam Sunder, Nikku and Dipak Kumar Goyal are accused in the case. PTI AAK RKS RKS

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