Justice M Dhandapani before whom the plea seeking grant of bail came up pointed out that the petitioner acting as middleman by passing credentials of the defunct companies at a price was not in dispute. “The petitioner was well aware that the credentials would be used for fake and fraudulent transactions and cannot feign ignorance on this aspect,” he added. “Once the petitioner, on clear and proper thinking, has obtained the credentials of defunct firms and handed over the same to the other persons for being misused for cheating the exchequer, the petitioner cannot absolve himself from the said offence by holding that he is only a middleman,” the court said.
Also, citing the Supreme Court caution to High Courts against grant of bail in cases where probe is yet to be completed, more so in cases involving GST, Justice Dhandapani dismissed the bail plea on the basis that the case was at preliminary stage and enlarging the petitioner at this point of time on bail would be detrimental to investigation. Further, without the petitioner’s role as middleman, the crime could not have been perpetrated. The nexus of very many persons within the administrative framework could not be ruled out and a proper and full-fledged investigation is necessary to unearth the larger conspiracy involved,” the court held.