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CBDT Takes Stern View Of Laxity By Counsel And CIT In Court Matters

The CBDT has issued two letters, both dated 20th March 2015, in which it has referred to an incident in the Delhi High Court where the Court had sought information relating to a case. Though the Standing Counsel communicated the directions of the Court to the concerned CIT, this was done in a “routine manner” and without any “follow up”. The result is that the Court issued directions and possibly strictures against the department.

In the first letter, the CBDT has made it clear that it is the responsibility of the Standing Counsel to obtain the information called for from the concerned CIT and to communicate the same to the Court. If the issue is not resolved, the Counsel is required to bring the issue to the attention of the CCIT. It is sternly stated that “The Counsel can not absolve himself from his responsibility to get the directions of High Court complied with under any circumstances”.

In the other letter, the CBDT has made it clear that it is the responsibility of the CIT to ensure that whenever the Departmental Counsel seeks Instructions/ clarifications in a case the same are attended to by the officers concerned promptly. It is also stated that the Counsel should be briefed properly to strengthen Revenue’s case and that the CIT should personally involve himself in cases involving intricate issues of facts/law having wide ramifications or involving high revenue stake.

The letters end with the grim warning that “Any laxity in adherence to this instruction will be viewed adversely against the erring officers”.


F. No.279/Misc/54/2015-SO(ITJ)
Government of India India
Ministry of finance
Central Board of Direct Taxes
New Delhi the 20th March, 2015
To

All Pr Chief Commissioner of Income Tax

Madam/Sir,

Sub: Responsibility of Standing Counsel In Communicating Court’s Decision-reg

I am directed to ref to the above and to state that it has come to the notice of Board that In a recent incident, the Hon’ble High Court has passed certain remarks against the Department. It appears that the High Court had sought certain information regarding the case from the Departmental Counsel. The Standing Counsel had communicated the directions of the Hon’ble Court, in the said case, in a routine manner but did not follow up the matter even though the said case was listed for almost a year till the Hon’ble High Court was constrained to issue directions in writing.

2. Standing Counsel have a duty to uphold the interests of the Department, Further it is their burden to obtain the information called for and comply with the directions of the Court from the CIT concerned and if the issue is not resolved at that stage, the matter should immediately be brought to the notice of the controlling officer, i.e., the CCIT concerned. Para 8.5 of the Instruction No. 3/2012 dated 11.04.2012 mandates that the counsel shall keep the CIT informed of the important developments in the case from time to time particularly with regards to dates of hearing, conclusion of hearing etc. The Counsel can not absolve himself from his responsibility to get the directions of High Court complied with under any circumstances.

3. This must be brought to the notice of all Standing Counsels in your Region for strict compliance. Such incidents should be taken note of while evaluating their performance.

Yours faithfully

(Priyanka Singh)
Under Secretary, ITJ, CBDT


F. No.279/Misc/54/2015-SO(ITJ)

Government of India India
Ministry of finance
Central Board of Direct Taxes

New Delhi the 20th March, 2015

To

All Pr Chief Commissioner of Income Tax

Madam/Sir,

Sub: Responsibility of CIT to give assistance to Department Counsels-Instruction no 7/2011 reg

I am directed to ref to the above and to state that it has come to the notice of Board that In a recent incident, the Hon’ble High Court has passed certain remarks against the Department. It appears that the High Court had sought certain information regarding the case from the Departmental Counsel, which was communicated to the CIT concerned but not followed up properly and the Standing Counsel could not assist the Hon’ble High Court in the matter.

2. In this context, it is re-iterated that Para 14 of Instruction No. 7/2011 casts a responsibility on the CIT to ensure that whenever the Departmental Counsel seeks Instructions/ clarifications in a case the same are attended to by the officers concerned promptly. The Counsel should be briefed properly to strengthen Revenue’s case. The CIT should personally involve himself in cases involving intricate issues of facts/law having wide ramifications or involving high revenue stake. A copy of the scrutiny report for filing appeal to High Court should invariably be made available to the appearing counsel for his assistance in preparation of the case and arguments.

2.1 I am further directed to draw your attention to para 4 of the instruction no. 4/2011 dated 9/3/2011. This instruction mandates that every CCIT(CCA)/CCIT shall set up a High Court Cell (HCC) at each station within his jurisdiction where a Bench of the High Court is situated. Further, this HCC shall obtain particulars of cases finally heard from Standing Counsel at the end of each working day and intimate the summary of proceedings to CIT concerned without any delay. For outstation CsIT, such information shall be sent through fax/email.

3. This must be brought to the notice of all officers concerned in your Region for strict compliance. Any laxity in adherence to this instruction will be viewed adversely against the erring officers.

Yours faithfully
(Priyanka Singh)
Under Secretary, ITJ, CBDT


One comment on “CBDT Takes Stern View Of Laxity By Counsel And CIT In Court Matters
  1. MRK Gandhi says:

    Good that Government has taken cognizance of such matters. If it is a beginning it is a welcome. Even the Judges who grant adjournments indiscriminately should be pulled up. Our Apex Court also cannot take shelter in the name of overload; let it have MISSION APPROACH for next few years. It is shame that it takes years when a person approaches for an urgent injunction. Granted or not, is not a question. Whether it is disposed off properly is an issue. Judiciary cannot pull others; if it cannot pull up its stocks.

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