HC grants bail to 5 excise officials, seven others in 2020 tax evasion case
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted bail to 12 persons, including five excise officials, who were booked by the Punjab vigilance bureau in a multi-crore tax evasion case in 2020.
The excise officials are Japp, alias Japsimran and Varun Nagpal, Ram Kumar, Satpal Singh Multani and Vishavdeep Singh Bhangu.
The other accused are Shiv Kumar, Vishwa Nath, Jasmeet Singh, alias Prince, Sukhwinder Singh, alias Shinda, Ranjit Kumar, alias Gogi, Kamal Kumar Ahuja, alias Rocky, Harshdeep Verma, alias Harshdeep Singh and Ishu Sharma. They all are into transport business.
The FIR was registered on August 21, 2020, by the vigilance bureau. It was alleged that the officials caused huge losses to the state exchequer in connivance with private transporters. Tax evasion was allegedly committed through transporting goods of traders in and out of Punjab by paying less or no tax.
It was argued that the prosecution of officials was not maintainable since sanction to prosecute them was not obtained. It was also submitted that the matter was already investigated and the challan presented. In the case of others, the court was told that challan was presented and there was no need to keep them in judicial custody.
The bench of Jaishree Thakur granted them bail taking note of the fact that sanction to prosecute the officials was not obtained even as they were in custody since the registration of the FIR. No useful purpose would be served in keeping them behind the bars any longer, the court observed.
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