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CIT vs. Sunita Dhadda (Supreme Court)

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DATE: March 28, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 6, 2018 (Date of publication)
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S. 143(3)/ 292C: If the AO wants to rely upon documents found with third parties, the presumption u/s 292C against the assessee is not available. As per the principles of natural justice, the AO has to provide the evidence to the assessee & grant opportunity of cross-examination. Secondary evidences cannot be relied on as if neither the person who prepared the documents nor the witnesses are produced. The violation of natural justice renders the assessment void. The Dept cannot be given a second chance (All judgements considered)

Cross-examination is one part of the principles of natural justice: A Constitution Bench of this Court in State of M.P. v. Chintaman Sadashiva Vaishampayan AIR 1961 SC 1623, held that the rules of natural justice, require that a party must be given the opportunity to adduce all relevant evidence upon which he relies, and further that, the evidence of the opposite party should be taken in his presence, and that he should be given the opportunity of cross-examining the witnesses examined by that party. Not providing the said opportunity to cross-examine witnesses, would violate the principles of natural justice

Honda Motor Co. Ltd vs. ADIT (Supreme Court)

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DATE: March 14, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 24, 2018 (Date of publication)
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S. 148: The AO is not entitled to issue a reopening notice only on the basis that the foreign company has a permanent establishment (PE) in India if the transactions in respect of which it is alleged that there has been an escapement of income had already been disclosed by the Indian subsidiary and found by the Transfer Pricing Officer (TPO) to be at arm's length

In the judgment of this Court dated 24th October, 2017 in Assistant Director of Income Tax-I, New Delhi v. M/s. E-Funds IT Solution Inc., Civil Appeal NO.6082 of 2015 and connected matters, it has been held that once arm’s length principle has been satisfied, there can be no further profit attributable to a person even if it has a permanent establishment in India. Since the impugned notice for the reassessment is based only on the allegation that the appellant(s) has permanent establishment in India, the notice cannot be sustained once arm’s length price procedure has been followed

Bar Council of India vs. A. K. Balaji & Ors (Supreme Court)

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DATE: March 13, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 14, 2018 (Date of publication)
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Foreign law firms and foreign lawyers cannot practice profession of law in India either in the litigation or in non-litigation side though they can "fly in and fly out" for the purpose of giving legal advice to their clients in India regarding foreign law. The expression “fly in and fly out” will only cover a casual visit not amounting to “practice”. If the Rules of Institutional Arbitration apply or the matter is covered by the provisions of the Arbitration Act, foreign lawyers are not debarred from conducting arbitration proceedings arising out of international commercial arbitration but will be governed by code of conduct applicable to the legal profession in India. B.P.O. Companies providing wide range of customized and integrated services and functions to its customers like word processing, secretarial support, transcription services, proof reading services, travel desk support services, etc. may come within the purview of the Advocates Act, 1961 or the Bar Council of India Rules if in pith and substance the services amount to practice of law

We uphold the view of the Bombay High Court and Madras High Court in para 63 (i) of the judgment to the effect that foreign law firms/companies or foreign lawyers cannot practice profession of law in India either in the litigation or in nonlitigation side. We, however, modify the direction of the Madras High Court in Para 63(ii) that there was no bar for the foreign law firms or foreign lawyers to visit India for a temporary period on a “fly in and fly out” basis for the purpose of giving legal advice to their clients in India regarding foreign law or their own system of law and on diverse international legal issues. We hold that the expression “fly in and fly out” will only cover a casual visit not amounting to “practice”. In case of a dispute whether a foreign lawyer was limiting himself to “fly in and fly out” on casual basis for the purpose of giving legal advice to their clients in India regarding foreign law or their own system of law and on diverse international legal issues or whether in substance he was doing practice which is prohibited can be determined by the Bar Council of India. However, the Bar Council of India or Union of India will be at liberty to make appropriate Rules in this regard including extending Code of Ethics being applicable even to such cases

DCIT vs. Ace Multi Axes Systems Ltd (Supreme Court)

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DATE: December 5, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 7, 2017 (Date of publication)
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S. 80-IB: The incentive meant for small scale industrial undertakings cannot be availed by undertakings which do not continue as small scale industrial undertakings during the relevant period. Each assessment year is a different assessment year. The fact that the object of legislature is to encourage industrial expansion does not mean that the incentive should remain applicable even where on account of industrial expansion, the small scale industrial undertakings ceases to be small scale industrial undertakings. The fact that in the initial year eligibility was satisfied is irrelevant

The observations in the impugned order are that the object of legislature is to encourage industrial expansion which implies that incentive should remain applicable even where on account of industrial expansion small scale industrial undertakings ceases to be small scale industrial undertakings. We are unable to appreciate the logic for these observations. Incentive is given to a particular category of industry for a specified purpose. An incentive meant for small scale industrial undertaking cannot be availed by an assessee which is not such an undertaking. It does not, in any manner, mean that the object of permitting industrial expansion is defeated, if benefit is not allowed to other undertakings. On this logic, incentive must be given irrespective of any condition as the incentive certainly helps further expansion by reducing the tax burden. The concept of vertical equity is well known under which all the assessees need not be uniformally taxed. Progressive taxation is a well known element of tax policy. Higher slabs of tax or higher tax burden on an assessee having higher income or higher capacity cannot in any manner, be considered unreasonable

Pradyuman Bisht vs. UOI (Supreme Court)

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DATE: August 14, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 26, 2017 (Date of publication)
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CCTV cameras are culture of the day and promotes good governance. All Tribunals including the ITAT should have CCTVs with audio recording. The footage of the CCTV Camera will not be available under the RTI and will not be supplied to anyone without permission of the concerned High Court

We asked learned Additional Solicitor General as to why the Union of India has not so far installed CCTV cameras in Tribunals where open hearing takes place like Court such as ITAT, CESTAT etc. as the tribunals stand on the same footing as far as object of CCTV camera are concerned. He is unable to dispute the utility and requirement of doing so and we see no reason why this should not be done. Recordings will help the constitutional authorities and the High Courts exercising jurisdiction under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution over such Tribunals. We, therefore, direct that this aspect may now be taken up by learned Additional Solicitor General with the concerned authorities so that an appropriate direction is issued by the concerned authority for installation of CCTV cameras in Tribunals in same manner as in Courts and an affidavit filed in this Court

Prakash vs. Phulvati (Supreme Court)

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DATE: October 16, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 16, 2016 (Date of publication)
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Law on prospective vs. retrospective operation of legislation explained. The Hindu Succession (Amendment Act), 2005 which came into effect on 09.09.2015 and by which daughters in a joint Hindu family, governed by Mitakshara law, were granted statutory right in the coparcenary property (being property not partitioned or alienated) of their fathers applies only if both the father and the daughter are alive on the date of commencement of the Amendment Act

An amendment of a substantive provision is always prospective unless either expressly or by necessary intendment it is retrospective3. In the present case, there is neither any express provision for giving retrospective effect to the amended provision nor necessary intendment to that effect. Requirement of partition being registered can have no application to statutory notional partition on opening of succession as per unamended provision, having regard to nature of such partition which is by operation of law. The intent and effect of the Amendment will be considered a little later. On this finding, the view of the High Court cannot be sustained. Interpretation of a provision depends on the text and the context (RBI vs. Peerless (1987) 1 SCC 424, para 33). Normal rule is to read the words of a statute in ordinary sense. In case of ambiguity, rational meaning has to be given (Kehar Singh vs. State (1988) 3 SCC 609). In case of apparent conflict, harmonious meaning to advance the object and intention of legislature has to be given (District Mining Officer vs. Tata Iron and Steel Co. (2001) 7 SCC 358)

AG vs. Shiv Kumar Yadav (Supreme Court)

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DATE: September 10, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 14, 2015 (Date of publication)
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Law Commission and the Bar Council of India should consider whether Advocates should be tested for fitness and competence to argue matters

The interest of justice may suffer if the counsel conducting the trial is physically or mentally unfit on account of any disability. The interest of the society is paramount and instead of trials being conducted again on account of unfitness of the counsel, reform may appear to be necessary so that such a situation does not arise. Perhaps time has come to review the Advocates Act and the relevant Rules to examine the continued fitness of an advocate to conduct a criminal trial on account of advanced age or other mental or physical infirmity, to avoid grievance that an Advocate who conducted trial was unfit or incompetent. This is an aspect which needs to be looked into by the concerned authorities including the Law Commission and the Bar Council of India

CIT vs. Suman Dhamija (Supreme Court)

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DATE: July 1, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: August 26, 2015 (Date of publication)
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CBDT Instruction No. 3/2011 dated 9.2.2011 specifying monetary limits for filing appeals by the department applies only to appeals filed after that date and not to pending appeals

The appeals and review petitions preferred by the department before the High Court, were disposed of on the basis of the instructions issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes dated 9.2.2011. It is not a matter of dispute, that all the appeals were preferred prior to 2011, whereas, the instructions dated 9.2.2011 clearly indicate in paragraph 11 thereof, that they shall not govern cases which have been filed before 2011, and that, the same will govern only such cases which are filed after the issuance of the aforesaid instructions dated 9.2.2011. In view of the above, the instant appeals are allowed, the impugned orders passed by the High Court hereby set aside

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