First non-bailable arrest in Nagpur under GST.

NAGPUR: The first arrest under a non-bailable offence in a case involving GST evasion was made in Nagpur. This was in extension to an earlier action in which the directorate general of GST intelligence (DGGSTI) had arrested three persons who were allegedly running shell companies.

The firms were formed with the purpose of issuing fake invoices for availing fraudulent input tax credit (ITC) worth Rs10.44 crore.

The three arrested earlier were basically daily wagers who are supposed to be acting as front for running the dummy firms, which ultimately benefited the mastermind who was held on Thursday. The trail finally led to the arrest of Raja Agrawal, the proprietor of M/s Raja Cement House, an iron and steel company in the city, which was availing ITC on the basis of fake invoices issued by such firms.

Apart from the three shell firms in Nagpur, Raja Cement was also getting purchase invoices from business concerns as far as Ludhiana to avail ITC.

According to a press release issued by the DGGSTI Nagpur unit, the agency had conducted searches in different parts of the country. It was found that M/s Raja Cement had recorded supplies from firms located in Nagpur and Ludhiana.

The case holds importance because for the first time, an arrest has been made under a non-bailable offence, which is applicable for alleged evasion of over Rs5 crore. This means that the bail has to be secured form the court. Here, Agrawal has been remanded in judicial custody till February 27. This is the first such arrest in the entire Nagpur zone which extends till Khandesh and Marathwada, apart from Vidarbha.