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Coming To Mumbai Was The Best Thing In My Career: Chief Justice Akil Kureshi Praises Tax Bar (Video)

Chief Justice Mr. Akil Kureshi, on the occasion of his transfer from Mumbai to Tripura, described his posting in Mumbai as the best thing that happened to him in his career as a Judge. He stated that the Mumbai Tax Bar has excellent advocates and he praised it for qualitative representations. The Tax Bar also complimented the learned Judge for a fair and patient hearing, and quick disposal of matters

Honourable Justice Mr. Akil Kureshi, Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court – Farewell function by the Tax Bars on 16th November (Thursday), 2019 at Mumbai.

ITAT Bar Association Mumbai Jointly with Sales Tax Bar Association and the Central Excise and the Customs Bar Association have organized a farewell function on 16th November 2019 at Mumbai in Honour of Justice Mr. Akil Kureshi in taking charge as Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court. Large number of professionals attended the function.

Mr. Hiro Rai, Advocate President of the of the ITAT Bar Association Mumbai, in his welcome address stated that for every member of the Bar it has been a real pleasure and privilege to attend before his lordship. He wished him success on his future endeavors.

Mr. Vikram Nankani, Senior Advocate, on behalf of the Central Excise and the Customs Bar Association and Mr. Vinay Patkar, Advocate, President of the Sales Tax Bar Association Mumbai, wished the Honourable Justice Mr. Akil Kureshi all the success as the Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court.

Akil Kureshi

Chief Justice Akil Kureshi with the distinguished members of the Tax Bar

Speaking on the occasion Honourable Justice Mr. Akil Kureshi, Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court, highly appreciated the quality of the representation before the High Court by the Tax Bar of Mumbai. He further mentioned as follow:

Coming to Mumbai was perhaps the best thing that has happened to me, my career as a Judge. It is not a blessing in disguise, it is undisguised blessing. New place, new people, new culture, new challenges, new food, thoroughly enjoyed it. The initial period when I did tax was outstanding. You are an outstanding Bar having excellent seniors, very good middle level advocates and also very talented juniors.

Mumbai is the commercial capital of our country and we have the tax bar which is one of the premiere bars of our country and High Court is called the Premiere High Court of the Country, then why are we not taking lead in deciding the new issues?

His lordship also mentioned as quoted below:

Some of the finest tax counsels are from the office of Mr. Soli Dastur. Mr. Soli Dastur had about 20 to 21 Juniors and today we have at least 5 or 6 quality all India arguing counsels from just one chamber. We need more Soli Dasturs in this place

Flower bouquets were presented on behalf of all the three Tax Bar Associations.

All the professionals present on the occasion wished good luck to Honourable Justice Mr. Akil Kureshi, Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court.

QUOTES:

Appointment of Justice Kureshi as Chief Justice of Tripura High Court is welcome by all members of BAR since he is a very popular judge, very courteous and pleasant in court. Even though all the chief justices are equal and of the same rank, yet the BAR feels that looking to the experience and expertise which justice Kureshi has acquired while sitting in Metropolitan towns like Ahmadabad and Mumbai where there are huge commercial litigations, his talent should have been better utilized in other states where there is voluminous work relating to corporate and commercial laws. The Bar wishes him great success, in his new assignment.

Dr.Y.P.Trivedi, Sr. Advocate Supreme Court, Mumbai
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Hon’ble Justice Mr. Justice Akil Abdulhamid Kureshi is one of the finest judges in the Bombay high Court in our country. Honourable Justice has rendered landmark judgments in the field of Taxation & other laws. His lordship’s expertise and great knowledge in the field of taxation and vast experience as a lawyer and judge made him an invaluable asset to the Indian judiciary. His lordship takes keen interest in educating young minds using his vast experience and wisdom which was evident during his visit to Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai on 2.3.2019. His lordship’s keen observation and knowledge would be instrumental in rendering speedy and efficacious justice, quick disposal of large number of matters. In Tripura around 2,877 matters are pending as on September 2019. Honourable justice should be able reduce the pendency to a large extent bringing great relief to the litigants. Citizens of Tripura may largely be benefitted due to the transfer. I had the privilege to appear and argue before his Lordship in various cases. While sitting in the court, I also observed that honourable Justice was very encouraging of young lawyers who appeared before him. I wish him all the best for his future endeavours.

Dr. K. Shivaram, Senior Advocate
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Justice  Kureshi  endeared  himself  to  the  members  of  the  Bar  with  his  patient  hearing,  practical  approach  to  the  issues  in  dispute  and  by  delivering  judgement  in  a  lucid  and  simple  language  understood  by  all.  Justice  Kureshi  will  always  be  remembered  for  his  exemplary  integrity,  humility,  dedication  to  work   and  profound  knowledge  of  law  particularly  tax  laws.  Justice  Kureshi  was  a  learned  judge  who  left  a  deep  imprint  on  both the  junior  and  senior  members  of  the  Bar  within  a  short  span  of  time  he  had  been  posted  in  Bombay.  I  take  this  opportunity  to  congratulate  Justice  Kureshi  and  wish  him  all  the  Best  on  his  appointment  as  Chief  Justice  of  Tripura  High  Court.

Subhash  S.  Shetty,  Advocate 
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FAREWELL TO JUSTICE KURESHI

“Much awaited notification appointing Justice Akil A. Kureshi as Chief Justice of Tripura High Court, have been issued on 8th November, 2019.
Unnecessary and avoidable controversy arose immediately after the elevation of Justice Subhash Reddy, the then Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court to Supreme Court. In a normal procedure adopted till a new Chief Justice takes charge, the senior most judge of the High Court is notified as Acting Chief Justice. Justice Kureshi being the senior most Judge of the said court, he should have been appointed as acting Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court but justice Kureshi was transferred to Bombay High Court and his junior Justice A S Dave was notified to be acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court.

Justice Kureshi while presiding the Tax Bench of tax. I had the privilege of appearing before him at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

His transfer to Bombay High Court was a benefit to tax bar. Being a studious and hard-working judge he believed in pre-studying all the matters that may have been placed on the board for hearing.

Now that Justice Kureshi have been notified to be Chief Justice of Tripura High Court, I am confident the Tripura Bar will gain enormously. Justice Kureshi will equally shine out as an outstanding Judge and soon be elevated to the Apex Court.”

P.C. Joshi, Advocate, Bombay High Court
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Honourable Justice Kureshi is most deserving. A judge par excellence. Fast, intelligent, hard working and above all, honest to the core!

Should be elevated to the Supreme Court as soon as possible.

Tushar Hemarajani, Advocate, Gujarat
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"Justice Kureshi, particularly when he was in the Gujarat High Court, has emerged as one of the leading authorities on sales tax law. His judgments in sales tax and other tax laws are widely cited throughout India and considered gold standard. His wisdom and deep knowledge will be sorely missed by all indirect tax lawyers in our State of Maharashtra."

Vinay Patkar,
President sales tax Tribunal Bar Association
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Justice Kureshi, is one of those rare judges who effortlessly blend intelligence, industry, independence and incisiveness and dispense justice in a free, fair and fearless manner. And they do so while displaying patience , humaneness , soft and suave persona. He was never bothered by the pecuniary stakes or personalities involved and decided cases by their sheer intrinsic merit, a quality that endeared him to the entire bar but also  made him pay rather personal  heavy price.

The biggest tribute to a Judge is when the entire bar rises in unison and takes cudgels on his behalf   to uphold majesty of justice and honour of judiciary. He is one judge who has received this tribute instantly. He has evenly endeared himself to two of country’s elite bars  – Ahmedabad and Bombay.

By his long and consistent attitude he has freshly defined what “ correctness” means and it is no wonder that in present times, he is considered as epitome of a “Judge”.

Vipin Jain, Managing Partner, TLC Legal
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Farewell function to Hourbable Mr Justice Kureshi by Bombay Bar Association.

Bombay Bar Association has arranged a farewell function in honour of Hourbable Mr. Justice Kureshi on 11/11/2019, on his appointment as Chief Justice of Tripura High Court. Large number of advocates attended the function and there was no place to stand in the Bar Association premises which displayed the popularity of the Honourable Justice amongst the Bar members.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Milan Sathe, Senior Advocate and President of the Bombay Bar Association stated that an year back, on 14th November, 2018, Justice Kureshi had sworn as the Judge in Mumbai. A large number of events have taken place since then. He said that he was extremely happy that Justice Kureshi was elevated as Chief Justice of Tripura High Court after it was long due. However, the fact that Justice Kureshi will no longer remain in Mumbai saddens him. He further mentioned that Justice Kureshi was popular in Ahmedabad as well as in Mumbai. In the last 30 years, he had heard from both Assessee as well as Revenue that they were very happy with Justice Kureshi as a Judge. He congratulated Justice Kureshi on his elevation.

Dr. Milind Sathe

Chief Justice Akil Kureshi:

His Lordship greeted all the members present. He mentioned that he had taken charge on 14th November, 2018 in Bombay High Court and is demitting charge on 14th November 2019. Justice Kureshi recounted the time when the Bombay bar Association had given him a warm welcome on his transfer to the Bombay High Court. He expressed that one year had passed in a blink of an eye and on looking back, the only feeling is of immense satisfaction due to great support from the Bombay Bar Association. He was happy to mention that he had the opportunity to work on the cream work i.e. Direct and Indirect tax matters and had the pleasure to hear Senior Advocates as well as young and talented Junior Advocates.

He said he could never forget the way Bombay bar Association supported him. He shared an incident where a law student had asked his lordship whether he regretted any of the judgments he passed. Lordship replied that he never regretted ay of the decisions passed since all judgments were delivered based on circumstances during that time.

He quoted “Came to Mumbai being dazed, leaving Mumbai with clarity. Will come to Mumbai again and again”.

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At present there are more than 5,300 matters pending for admission and about more than 5,900 matters are pending for final hearing in direct tax matters. Honourable Justice Mr. Akil Kureshi used to dispose most of the appeals at the time admission itself which has helped in laying the law on the subject and reduction in pendency. Few Judgements of Justice Mr. Akil Kureshi are as under ;

AKIL KURESHI JJ – (Few Judgments)

1. Where AO carried out extensive research to conclude that services availed by assessee advertising and media agency for which payment was made to different agencies were in nature of technical services, however such research material was not provided to assessee to rebut same, principles of natural justice having been violated.

TLG India (P.) Ltd. v. ITO – TDS [2019] 109 taxmann.com 261 (Bom)(HC)

2. Assessee failed to produce investors despite of various opportunity granted to it and, moreover there was no evidence on record establishing genuine investments on their part in shares of assessee, addition u/s.68 is justified.

Royal Rich Developers (P.) Ltd.v.Pr. CIT [2019] 265 Taxman 99 (Bom)(HC)(MAG)

3. Where holding company of assessee demerged its business unit which was taken over by assessee, AO was not justified in levying interest u/s.234C for non-payment of tax falling due for period before acquisition of its business by assessee.

Ultratech Cement Ltd.v. CCIT [2019] 110 taxmann.com 9 (Bom)(HC)

4. Where AO initiated reassessment proceedings on ground that sales promotion expenses claimed by assessee as deduction was in nature of capital expenditure and, thus, assessee’s claim was wrongly allowed, in view of fact that there was a complete disclosure of all primary material facts on part of assessee in course of assessment, initiation of reassessment proceedings merely on basis of change of opinion was not justified.

Asian Paints Ltd. v. DCIT [2019] 102 taxmann.com 375 /261 Taxman 380 (Bombay)

5. Where assessee filed writ petition contending that impugned assessment order and subsequent recovery proceedings were to be set aside as there was no valid service of assessment notice upon assessee, since alternate efficacious statutory remedy of filling appeal to Commissioner (Appeals) was available, instant writ petition could not be entertained

Camelot Enterprises (P.) Ltd. v. TRO [2019] 105 taxmann.com 155 (Bombay)

6. CBDT cannot issue any instructions or directions to any income tax authority to make a particular assessment or to dispose of a case in a particular manner, hence, portion of Central Action Plan prepared by CBDT which gave higher weightage for disposal of appeals by orders favouring revenue was to be set aside.

Chamber of Tax Consultants v. CBDT [2019] 104 taxmann.com 397/ 263 Taxman 551 (Bombay)

7. Where reopening notice sent at address of assessee available in PAN database was returned by postal authorities, by virtue of proviso to sub-rule (2) of rule 127, communication had to be delivered at address of assessee as available with banking company and since revenue had failed to do so, there was no service of reopening notice, thus, subsequent assessment order making additions to income of assessee was unjustified.

Harjeet Surajprakash Girotra v. UOI [2019] 108 taxmann.com 491 (Bombay)

8. TPO cannot assume jurisdiction to determine arm’s length price of a specified domestic transaction not reported to him.

Times Global Broadcasting Company Ltd. v. UOI [2019] 413 ITR 42 (Bombay)

9. Where by non-speaking order Revenue rejected petitioner’s application for stay on demand which was contrary to orders of appellate authorities in preceding years and, further, without issuing any reasonable notice, withdrew certain amount from provisionally attached bank account of assessee towards adjustment against demand for other years, action of Revenue was high handed and manifestly unfair towards petitioner.

Milestone Real Estate Fund v. ACIT [2019] 105 taxmann.com 292 / 263 Taxman 523 (Bombay)

10. Where purchase of property was delayed due to void compulsory acquisition by Appropriate IT Authority, date of purchase would relate back to original agreement, and not to date of execution of sale deed and benefit of cost indexation was to be provided from said date.

Amarjeet Thapar v. ITO [2019] 101 taxmann.com 221 / 261 Taxman 23 (Bombay)

11. Where assessee had not raised dispute regarding taxability of Government subsidy, received by it under a Government scheme, during entire settlement proceedings till settlement order was passed, assessee could not urge Commissioner to examine such an issue in exercise of revisional powers.

Mandhana Industries Ltd. v. PCIT [2019] 103 taxmann.com 301 / 262 Taxman 137 (Bombay)

12. Revenue having recovered approximately 38 per cent of disputed tax amount during pendency of appeals and no special circumstances pointed out to permit revenue to carry out full recoveries, revenue would not be permitted to carry out any further recoveries pending appeals.

Vodafone India Ltd. v. CIT [2019] 107 taxmann.com 304 / 265 Taxman 98 (Bombay)

13. Consideration that arose in hands of HUF on sale of capital asset had been invested for purchase of new residential house in name of some of its members instead of assessee (HUF), deduction u/s. 54F in hands of HUF would still be permissible.

Pr. CIT vs. Vaidya Panalalmanilal (HUF) (2018) 98 taxmann.com 189 (Guj)(HC)

14. Assessing Officer on tentative re-working of assessee’s accounts formed a prima facie opinion and suggested collection of tax at reduced rate of 1 per cent, but since projection of losses by assessee were found questionable, assessee’s application for reduced rate of TDS could not be granted.

OPJ Trading (P.) Ltd. v. ITO [2018] 98 taxmann.com 117 (Guj)(HC)

15. Objects in original trust deed were sufficiently wide and covered range of charitable activities relatable to education, medical aid and help to poor in times of calamities, registration of assessee trust could not be denied for amended objects clarifying running of diagnostic centre on no profit basis.

CIT vs. Paramount Charity Trust [2018] 97 taxmann.com 134 (Gujarat)(HC)

16. Assessee claimed deduction u/s. 54B in relation to proceeds received upon sale of agricultural lands and Assessing Officer, after examining all required document furnished by assessee, completed assessment and allowed assessee’s claim, notice of reopening issued beyond period of four years from end of relevant assessment year was to be set aside.

Devendrasinh Chhatrasinh Vaghela v. Jt. CIT [2018] 97 taxmann.com 173 (Gujarat)

17. Once gifts are assessed in block assessment proceedings, same cannot be subject matter of assessment in regular assessment; whether in block assessment, Assessing Officer has found gift to be genuine or non-genuine can be of no consequence.

CIT vs. Mukesh M Sheth [2018] 256 Taxman 443 (Gujarat)(HC)

18. Expenditure incurred on product development and claimed deduction for same u/s. 37(1), expenditure so incurred did not involve development of a new product or even a new technique or technology to manufacture existing product more efficiently rather it was aimed at improving quality of existing products of assessee, claim for deduction was to be allowed.

CIT vs. Arvind Products Ltd.[2018] 255 Taxman 472 (Gujarat)(HC)

19. Reopening of the assessment would not be permitted for fishing or a roving inquiry.

Pr. CIT vs. Manzil Dineshkumar Shah (2018) 406 ITR 326 (Guj)(HC)

20. If construction can be stated to have been carried out after transfer of original capital asset, then claim of deduction u/s.54F cannot be denied.

Ushaben Jayantilal Sodhan vs. ITO (2018) 407 ITR 276 (Guj)(HC)

21. Once research and development facility is approved, entire expenditure incurred on development of research and development facility has to be allowed for weighted deduction under section 35(2AB)

Banco Products (India) Ltd. vs. Dy. CIT (2018) 405 ITR 318 (Guj)(HC)

22. No notice u/s. 148 will be issued by AO who is below rank of Joint Commissioner, unless Joint Commissioner is satisfied, on reasons recorded by AO that it is fit case for issuance of such notice.

Mayurbhai Mangaldas Patel vs. ITO (2018) 407 ITR 238 (Guj)(HC)

23. If demand of tax is quite high and issues are pending at first appellate stage, then stay order can be granted to assessee.

Ashokbhai Jagubhai Kehni vs. Dy.CIT (2018) 405 ITR 179 (Guj)(HC)

24. If application of assessee was decided by Chief Commissioner and accepted, there was sufficient time to enable Revenue to take such return in scrutiny if so desired.

Sahebsingh Bindrasingh Senagar Huf vs. Chief CIT (2018) 402 ITR 368 (Guj)(HC)

25. When Assessee had filed application for registration u/s 12A along with revenue records relating to lands held by trust, registration could not be denied.

Pr. CIT (Exemptions) vs. Dawoodi Bohra Masjid (2018) 402 ITR 29 (Guj)(HC)

26. Delay ranging between 10 months of one-and-half years cannot be considered contemporaneous to assessment proceedings.

Pr. CIT vs. Jitendra H. Modi HUF (2018) 403 ITR 110 (Guj)(HC)

27. Prior to introduction of clause(i) to explanation to section 115JB, then existing clause (c) did not cover case where assessee made provision for bad or doubtful debt and with insertion of clause (i) to explanation with retrospective effect, any amount or amounts set aside for provision for diminution in value of asset made by assessee, would be added back for computation of book profit u/s 115JB.

CIT vs. Vodafone Essar Gujarat Ltd. (2017) 397 ITR 55 (Guj) ((FB))

28. Interest on Special Purpose Notes cannot be disallowed when said interest was in respect of capital borrowed for purposes of business of assessee.

Nirma Ltd. vs. ACIT (2018) 405 ITR 277 (Guj)(HC)

29. Where CIT has power to revised assessment framed u/s. 143 then, assessment order can be revised.

Designmate India P. Ltd. vs. CIT (2018) 406 ITR 0443 (Guj)(HC)


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