Category: judiciary

The author goes ballistic over the recent judgement of the Supreme Court in PWC‘s case that s. 271(1)(c) penalty cannot be imposed if the assessee carelessly makes a wrong claim. He argues that the judgement neutralizes the deterrent effect of s. 271(1)(c) and is prone to abuse in the present regime of no scrutiny assessments. He fears that in the absence of a deterrent effect, assessees will be encouraged to ‘take a chance’ with bogus claims

On the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Bombay High Court, the author pays rich tribute to the stalwarts of the Bombay Bar who were fearless in their fight for the Country’s independence and also in the fight for preserving the basic structure of the Indian Constitution. The Tax Bar has contributed in its own little way towards the development of tax laws and the process of building the Nation while keeping the flag of the Bombay High Court flying high, says the author, and implores all professionals to emulate the Stalwarts and work for the benefit of the Nation

The author argues that it is hypocritical that advocates, who represent the elite of society & who are supposed to be the defenders of legal values, should openly flout the law by defying the verdicts of the Supreme Court. Such conduct is symptomatic of the utter lawlessness that our Society has degenerated into in all walks of life rues the author and claims that stern action ought to be taken against the perpetrators for contempt of court

The author is enthused by the impending training programme for the Hon’ble Members of the Tribunal on “International Taxation and Transfer Pricing“. It is a step in the right direction he says and adds that the time is opportune for all stake-holders to contribute their thoughts on how to improve the functioning of the Tribunal. On his, part, the author cannot resist the temptation to list a few issues that need to be paid attention to for making the Tribunal’s functioning even better than it is today

The author compliments Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for his deft handling of the Vodafone crises despite relentless pressure from all sides. However, now that the stage has shifted from the political arena to the legal arena, it is time to take stock of the options available to the warring parties, says the author as he evaluates the alternatives and identifies their pros and cons in a succinct manner

The author clears the misconception in the minds of the public that the verdict of the Supreme Court in Vodafone had delivered a body blow to the Government by deciding in favour of the assessee. Instead, large parts of it, when stripped out of context, are in the tax department’s favour and the Government has shrewdly nullified the parts that were against it whilst retaining the parts that are in its favour says the author

The UK Govt’s not-so-subtle threats to India over the Vodafone retrospective amendments have irked the author. The author cites two controversial retrospective amendments effected in the UK to supersede well settled judicial precedents and fumes that a Government which itself indulges in questionable legislative practices has no right to preach to others

The author dares to ask the question that has been troubling tax professionals across the Country. Why is the Government not appointing a President for the Tribunal? It’s been 23 months since the last President retired and the studied indifference of the Government towards filling the vacancy in this august Institution is sending a wrong message to the Members of the Tribunal and the litigating public, says the author. The author urges the Government to shed its indifference and get its act together before the prestige that this great Institution commands begins to erode

The author, one of the innumerable victims of the department’s gross inefficiency in matters of TDS credit & refunds, sees a ray of hope in the High Court’s tough stand in seeking to rein in the department. The author urges all affected tax payers to raise their voices against the department’s harassment and strengthen the Court’s hands

The author compliments the Supreme Court for its sagacity in dealing with a potentially explosive communal issue in a sensible & mature manner whilst rapping the Government hard on its knuckles for perpetrating loot by the system of patronage and granting of favours in the guise of the “Goodwill Hajj Delegation”


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