1. The Orissa High Court has granted the bail to the mastermind for the alleged misappropriation of INR 138 Crores in the multi-crore Goods and Service Tax GST Fraud case through 20 fictitious business entities.
2. Atul Bansal, the kingpin and the mastermind behind the multi-crore Goods and Service Tax GST Fraud case were granted bail who has the allegation that he has misappropriated 138 Crores by creating 20 felicitation business entities.
3. He was arrested by GST enforcement wing on October 25, 2019.
4. The counsel of Bansal expected bail on the ground of completion of investigation and submission of prosecution report in the trial court.
5. As per the investigation report, the facts that Atul Bansal and others in the conspiracy to undertake the loot from the government treasury, created 20 fictitious companies, which were registered in the name of daily wage workers, housewives, taxi drivers, plumbers, and unemployed youths.
6. The accused promised the workers, housewives, taxi drivers, plumbers, and unemployed youths the employment and obtained their Identity Cards (IDs).
7. With the misappropriation of these IDs the accused created and registered the fictitious firms and in the income tax returns showed the purchase of iron and steel of Rs. 603 Crores and sale of Rs. 743 Crores without paying tax.
8. The claimed the Input Tax Credit (ITC) worth Rs. 138 crore. The applicant was arrested on the ground of the availment of fake Input Tax Credit (ITC), so it filed a bail application.
9. The High Court of Orissa comprising of Justice B P Routray held that the petitioner must be released on bail in the case.
When the investigation has already been completed, I do not feel any requirement of further detention of the petitioner in custody keeping in view the term of maximum punishment vis-à-vis the period of detention. – Justice Routray
10. Bansal cannot leave the jurisdiction of Sundargarh District without prior permission of the lower court.
11. It was further reiterated that the offense of claiming Input Tax Credit (ITC) on the basis of the fake bills is a cognizable offense under Goods and Service Tax (GST) Act and in case of conviction, the imprisonment can extend to 5 years.