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DATE: March 26, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 28, 2020 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
Corona Virus Lockdown Crisis: All interim orders operating till today and are not already continued by some other courts / authority including this court shall remain in force till 30.04.2020 subject to liberty to parties to move for vacation of interim orders only in extreme urgent cases. Thus, all interim orders passed by this High Court at Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Panaji as also all courts/ Tribunal and authorities subordinate over which it has power of superintendence expiring before 30.04.2020, shall continue to operate till then. It is clarifed that such interim orders which are not granted for limited duration and therefore, are to operate till further orders, shall remain unaffected by this order (Similar orders are passed by the Delhi & Karnataka High Courts)

we fnd it appropriate to continue all interim orders which are operating till today and are not already continued by some other courts / authority including this court and the same shall remain in force till 30.04.2020, subject to liberty to parties to move for vacation of interim orders only in extreme urgent cases. Thus, all interim orders passed by this High Court at Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Panaji as also all courts/ Tribunal and authorities subordinate over which it has power of superintendence expiring before 30.04.2020, shall continue to operate till then. It is clarifed that such interim orders which are not granted for limited duration and therefore, are to operate till further orders, shall remain unaffected by this order

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DATE: March 4, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 24, 2020 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
Provisional Attachment u/s 83 of GST Act: Provisional attachment ceases upon expiry of one year. The authorities have acted in a blatantly highhanded and illegal manner by keeping the provisional attachments in a state of continuance. The failure is nothing short of being an act of highhandedness. Such actions of authorities is an obloquy and reprehensible. The action is in violation of the right to carry on business under Article 19(1) & deprivation of property under Article 300A. The Revenue shall pay costs of Rs. 5 Lakh

The failure to do the above is nothing short of being an act of highhandedness. Such actions of the authorities is an obloquy and reprehensible. No explanation has been provided for the same either in the affidavits filed in the earlier writ petitions or by counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent authorities during hearing of arguments. In my view the above action is clearly in violation of the petitioners’ rights for carrying on business under Article 19(1) of the Constitution of India and under Article 300A of the Constitution of India wherein the petitioners have been deprived of their property without authority of law. Ergo, the issue is decided in favour of the petitioners. In my view the actions of the Revenue in acting in contravention of Section 83(2) is condemnable, and accordingly costs are required to be imposed. In light of the same, I direct the concerned respondent authorities to pay costs of Rs. 5 Lakhs to each of the three petitioner companies.

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DATE: March 23, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 23, 2020 (Date of publication)
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Extension of limitation period: To obviate difficulties caused by CoronaVirus in filing petitions/ applications/ suits/ appeals/ all other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the general law of limitation or under Special Laws (both Central and/or State) , it is ordered that the period of limitation in all such proceedings, irrespective of the limitation prescribed under the general law or Special Laws, whether condonable or not, shall stand extended w.e.f. 15th March 2020 till further order/s to be passed by this Court in present proceedings

This Court has taken Suo Motu cognizance of the situation arising out of the challenge faced by the country on account of Covid-19 Virus and resultant difficulties that may be faced by litigants across the country in filing their petitions/ applications/ suits/ appeals/all other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the general law of limitation or under Special Laws (both Central and/or State)

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DATE: December 24, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 8, 2020 (Date of publication)
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Search & Seizure: The action of the GST authorities of camping in the assessee's home for 8 days and placing him under house arrest is illegal & a blatant abuse of powers. It has shocked the conscience of the court. This unauthorised action of the officers may tantamount to an offence under the Indian Penal Code. The officials cannot take shelter behind ignorance of law to justify their illegal actions. It is a matter of deep regret that the Chief Commissioner has attempted to justify such wrongful action on the part of the officials

It is a matter of deep regret that the Chief Commissioner of State Tax has attempted to justify such wrongful action on the part of the officers of the department by placing reliance upon the provisions relating to power of investigation under an earlier enactment to justify the actions of the concerned officers who were exercising powers of search and seizure under section 67(2) of the GST Acts. One would expect the higher officer to reprimand the subordinate officers for their unauthorised actions. But in this case, the higher ups, for reasons best known to them are trying to shield the actions of the subordinate officers though they are not in a position to show the relevant provisions of law under which such officers were empowered to act in this manner. All that the court can say at this stage is that the reports submitted of the Chief Commissioner in response to the orders dated 25.10.2019 and 20.11.2019, do not meet with the standards expected from an authority of his stature

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DATE: December 16, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: January 11, 2020 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
S. 276-B Criminal Prosecution for TDS default: A Director, who is not in charge of and not responsible for day to day business of the Company, is not liable for criminal prosecution, unless specifically it is described in the complaint how he is involved in day to day conduct of the business of the Company (Shyam Sunder AIR 1984 SC 53 & Homi Phiroz Ranina 2003 Bom.C.R. (Cri.) 793 followed)

Unless the complaint disclosed a prima facie case against the applicants/accused of their liability and obligation as principal officers in the day today affairs of the company as directors of the company under section 278(b) the applicants cannot be prosecuted for the offences committed by the company. In the absence of any material in the complaint itself prima facie disclosing responsibility of the accused for the running of the day to day affairs of the company process could not have been issued against them. The applicants cannot be made to undergo the ordial of a trial unless it could be prima facie showed that they are legally liable for the failure of the company in paying the amount deducted to the credit of the company. Otherwise, it would be a travesty without their knowledge

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DATE: December 17, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 23, 2019 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
Condonation of delay of 916 days: While a liberal approach is to be taken in the matter of condonation of delay & the consideration does not depend on the status of the party, even so the condonation of long delay should not be automatic since the accrued right or adverse consequence to the opposite party is also to be kept in perspective. While considering condonation of delay, routine explanation is not enough but it should be in the nature of indicating “sufficient cause” to justify the delay which will depend on the backdrop of each case and will have to be weighed carefully by the Courts based on the fact situation (Mst Katiji 1987(2) SCC 107 distinguished)

In the case of Katiji (Supra) the entire conspectus relating to condonation of delay has been kept in focus. However, what cannot also be lost sight is that the consideration therein was in the background of dismissal of the application seeking condonation of delay in a case where there was delay of four days pitted against the consideration that was required to be made on merits regarding the upward revision of compensation amounting to 800 per cent.

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DATE: December 18, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 23, 2019 (Date of publication)
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Effect of dismissal of SLP: It is well-settled that the dismissal of an SLP by the Supreme Court against an order or judgment of a lower forum is not an affirmation of the same. If such an order is non-speaking, it does not constitute a declaration of law under Article 141 of the Constitution, or attract the doctrine of merger

It is evident that all the above orders were non-speaking orders, inasmuch as they were confined to a mere refusal to grant special leave to appeal to the petitioners therein. At this juncture, it is useful to recall that it is well-settled that the dismissal of an SLP against an order or judgment of a lower forum is not an affirmation of the same. If such an order of this Court is non-speaking, it does not constitute a declaration of law under Article 141 of the Constitution, or attract the doctrine of merger

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DATE: November 7, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 16, 2019 (Date of publication)
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Condonation of delay of 1754 days: If the stand of the Applicant in the Affidavit that he had no knowledge about the passing of the order is not expressly refuted by the Respondent, the question of disbelieving the stand of the Applicant cannot arise. For this reason, indulgence should be shown to the Applicant by condoning the delay

Unless that fact was to be refuted, the question of disbelieving the stand taken by the appellant(s) on affidavit, cannot arise and for which reason, the High Court should have shown indulgence to the appellant(s) by condoning the delay in filing the concerned appeal(s). This aspect has been glossed over by the High Court

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DATE: October 15, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 21, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2019-20
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CITATION:
Black Money Act: It is not correct to say that while exercising powers under Sections 85 and 86 of the Black Money Act, the Central Government has made the said Act retrospectively applicable from 01.07.2015. The penal provisions u/s 50 and 51 of the Black Money Act would come into play only when an assessee has failed to take benefit of S. 59 and neither disclosed assets covered by the Black Money Act nor paid the tax and penalty thereon

Sub­-section (3) of Section 1 of the Black Money Act, itself provides that save as otherwise provided in this Act, it shall come into force on 1 st day of July, 2015. A conjoint reading of the various provisions would reveal, that the Assessing Officer can charge the taxes only from the assessment year commencing on or after 01.04.2016. However, the value of the said asset has to be as per its valuation in the previous year. As such, even if there was no change of date in sub­section (3) of Section 1 of the Black Money Act, the value of the asset was to be determined as per its valuation in the previous year. The date has been changed only for the purpose of enabling the assessee(s) to take benefit of Section 59 of the Black Money Act. The power has been exercised only in order to remove difficulties. The penal provisions under Sections 50 and 51 of the Black Money Act would come into play only when an assessee has failed to take benefit of Section 59 and neither disclosed assets covered by the Black Money Act nor paid the tax and penalty thereon. As such, we find that the High Court was not right in holding that, by the notification/order impugned before it, the penal provisions were made retrospectively applicable

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DATE: September 19, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 9, 2019 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
Service Tax/ GST: The collection of non-refundable deposits by the assessee from prospective flat buyers, for maintaining the building, does not result in the assessee providing management, maintenance or repair service as defined in Section 65(105)(zzg) of Finance Act 1994

The service of maintenance, management or repair, rendered by any person to any other person is a taxable service but in the context and backdrop in which the issue arises before us, we do not think that a taxable service is rendered. The Revenue does not wish to take into consideration the background in which buildings are maintained and till they are conveyed with complete title to even the land beneath. Thus, the provisions of Sections 5 and 6 and eventually the further provisions right upto Section 13 of the MOFA would make it clear that builder and developer maintains and repairs the property till it is conveyed or the title in the same is conveyed to the Flat purchasers or the legal entity which would ultimately be formed by him