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Delhi High Court grants anticipatory bail to financial fraud accused

The Delhi High Court on Friday granted anticipatory bail to a woman accused of financial fraud, who is allegedly involved in creating fake firms, claiming fraudulent tax benefit of Rs 45 crore and is facing an enquiry under the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017.
Delhi High Court grants anticipatory bail to financial fraud accused

The Delhi High Court on Friday granted anticipatory bail to a woman accused of financial fraud, who is allegedly involved in creating fake firms, claiming fraudulent tax benefit of Rs 45 crore and is facing an enquiry under the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait granted anticipatory bail to Lupita Saluja directing her to cooperate with the investigation and make herself available for interrogation by police, as and when required.

The court also imposed the condition that she shall not directly or indirectly influence any witness or tamper with the evidence.

"I am of the view that custodial interrogation of the applicant is not required. Accordingly, the Arresting Officer is directed that in the event of arrest, the petitioner/applicant shall be released on her furnishing a personal bond in the sum Rs.25,000, " Justice Kait said.

The Court noted that the husband of the applicant is already out on bail after spending nearly 50 days in custody who is the person involved in day-to-day affairs of the company.

The case of the prosecution against the petitioner is that applicant and her husband created five bogus export firms, and fraudulently availed input tax credit (ITC) of Rs 45 crores upon the strength of fake invoices providing fabricated information on e-way bill portal.

"On enquiry, it is found that all their suppliers were either non-existent at the declared principal place or the business address given in the GST registration," the prosecution said.

The counsel appearing for agency Directorate General of GST Intelligence has opposed the bail plea of the incriminating evidence collected so far, allegedly show that the applicant was not merely a housewife but she was actively involved in the affairs of the compes in question including financial affairs and was very well aware of all the misdeeds done by her in order to claim GST refund of Rs 45 crores.

The agency said that the applicant is not cooperating in the investigation and since the day of the arrest of her husband, she is absconding and the investigation is being conducted under strict adherence of law and under relevant provisions of CGST Act.

The Court observed that the applicant and her husband were called for the investigation by the investigating agency/department on December 10, 2020, and their statements were duly recorded. Husband of the applicant was arrested but the applicant was released on the same day.

"Admittedly, the export made by the compes of the applicant is in crores of rupees. The Investigating Agency has conducted as many as 5 raids including the residence and office premises of the applicant and seized the evidence such as original documents, purchase and sale invoices, ledgers and Bank Statements, hard disks, CPU, export details, etc," noted the Court.

( With inputs from ANI )

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