Karnataka HC upholds tax evasion case against bookies at Bangalore Turf Club

07:52 PM May 10, 2024 | PTI |

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has declined to dismiss a case involving alleged tax evasion by bookies operating at the Bangalore Turf Club, stating that the evidence gathered during the investigation indicated a potential cognisable offence.


Justice S Vishwajith Shetty’s bench issued the order in response to a petition filed by the bookies.

The case, registered in January under the Karnataka Police Act, the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Karnataka Race Betting Act, stemmed from a raid prompted by information suggesting that the bookies were accepting bets without proper registration, leading to tax evasion. During the raid, authorities seized Rs 3,45,74,040.

The bookies’ counsel argued that they were licenced and questioned the applicability of the IPC’s cheating section, suggesting it was invoked due to the non-cognisable nature of other provisions. The counsel contended that any wrongdoing fell under the purview of GST officers.

Advocate General Shashikiran Shetty countered, citing the bookies’ failure to issue receipts for collected GST and lack of records for TDS (tax deducted at source). He also highlighted discrepancies between reported bet amounts and expected averages over a specific period.


The bench stressed that if the evidence suggested a prima facie case, courts should refrain from interfering with investigations. It emphasised the investigating agency’s discretion in invoking penal provisions based on collected evidence.

The court concluded in the recent order that the allegations and evidence pointed to a serious offence involving misappropriation of substantial sums towards GST and TDS payments. Consequently, the bookies’ petition was dismissed.


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