The Income-tax department has, probably in response to the repeated strictures passed by the Courts, appointed 23 advocates to its panel in the Bombay High Court so as to enable better representation of its matters. There are 14 advocates designated as “Senior Standing Counsel” and 9 advocates designated as “Junior Standing Counsel”.
It can be seen from the names of the appointees, that a number of them are persons who have retired from senior positions in the department. Probably, the department expects that these personnel will be able to use their experience and in-depth knowledge of tax laws to assist the Court in an effective manner.
The Department must also take note of the fact that the High Court has come down heavily on the practice of the department of filing frivolous appeals. Heavy costs have been imposed. The Tribunal has also recommended the setting of an accountability mechanism to ensure that the AOs do not make blatantly frivolous additions.