The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday made it clear that the alleged connivance of transporters, “passers” or mediators and officials to facilitate the GST evasion in Punjab required a deeper probe.
“The investigation is going on. It appears that officials were being paid bribe on a monthly basis,” it asserted.
Observing that the information with the investigating agency may be the tip of the iceberg, Justice Avneesh Jhingan said the matter involved reaching ramifications. It might vary from allowing non-payment of input credit/modified value added tax (MODVAT) to the government to an eventuality where credit of tax paid on some other product was used for something else, he said.
The matter was brought to Justice Jhingan’s notice after Excise and Taxation Officer Sushil Kumar, posted at Mandi Gobindgarh, filed a petition for an anticipatory bail in a case of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy, and other provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Turning down the plea, Justice Jhingan asserted a person’s liberty was of utmost importance, but when personal liberty was pitted against a sovereign function of tax collection life blood of the economy the latter would prevail. The arrest was imperative for fair and full investigation.
Justice Jhingan noted the petitioner was allegedly paid Rs 8,25,000 during past three years. There were indicators that minor penalties imposed and recovered in cash by the petitioner were even not deposited in the government treasury.