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Uttarakhand court cancels bail of prime conspirator in illegal timber trade case

29 May, 2024
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A court in Uttarakhand on Tuesday cancelled the bail granted to Shahnawaz Hussain, the main conspirator of the illegal timber trade scam case which caused over Rs 20 crore loss of GST to the state tax department


The department had filed a revision petition challenging the bail granted to Hussain by the same District and Sessions Court of Rudrapur on March 5.


After a detailed hearing in which Uttarakhand government special counsel Lakshya Kumar Singh apprised the court of the adverse consequences of releasing the prime accused on bail as it might hamper the trial of the case, the court ordered Hussain to surrender.


The case hogged limelight as for the first time, the GST department used digital tracking and electronic surveillance to bust a group of traders who floated fake firms to give a legal cover to their illegal trade of timber and its products, and evaded GST worth crores of rupees.


The department launched a search and seizure operation named ‘Operation D Day-Rising Woods’ to unearth the racket in Jaspur area of Udham Singh Nagar district which is considered one of the biggest timber markets.


The case exposed several links of similar rackets running in other states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Bihar and Rajasthan.


The investigators, who tracked these illegal networks for the past nine months, found multiple firms floated by several persons with the sole purpose of defrauding the tax authorities.


The turnover in the illegal trade was estimated to be over Rs 113 crore with evasion of over Rs 20 crore of tax. The department has already deposited the recovery amount of Rs 5 crore in this case so far. The Special Investigation Team filed a 3,500-page charge sheet in the court of Rudrapur Chief Judicial Magistrate where the case is still pending.


Source from: https://theprint.in/india/uttarakhand-court-cancels-bail-of-prime-conspirator-in-illegal-timber-trade-case/2105747/

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