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Number of notices/summons issued by the respondent during the lockdown for COVID-19 is not a ground to reject the bail petition.

Bail Application — Section 132 of the CGST Act — The petitioner filed writ under Section 438 of the Cr.P.C. for granting anticipatory bail. The petitioner submitted that respondent issued summons to appear before him. The petitioner is a registered dealer, dealing in both ferrous and non ferrous scrap. He purchased goods from various registered and unregistered dealers and issued tax invoices. The respondent has conducted inspection of the business premises and drawn a mahazar. The respondent has already collected all the documents and completed their investigation and the petitioner apprehends his arrest for the offence punishable under Section 132(5) of the Act. The respondent submitted that the petitioner was engaged in availment of fake input tax credit i.e., availing of credit on the invoices received from the persons without actual supply of goods.
Held that:- The Hon’ble High Court allowed the petition subject to certain conditions, on the ground that the offences are not punishable with death or imprisonment for life. There is no statutory bar in the CGST Act for granting anticipatory bail by exercising power under Section 438 of the Cr.P.C.—Hanumanthappa Pathrera Lakshmana Vs State By Senior Intelligence Officer, Directorate General Of Goods And Service Tax Intelligence, Bengaluru Zonal Unit, Bengaluru [2020] 25 TAXLOK.COM 016 (Karnataka)