Burmah Castrol Plc vs. DIT (AAR)

DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 19, 2008 (Date of publication)

Where the applicant sought an advance ruling on the question whether the tax payable on the sale of listed equity shares would be 10 per cent of the amount of capital gains as per the proviso to s. 112(1) and the CIT filed a strong objection to the application on the ground that as the ADIT had already passed an order u/s 197, entertaining the application would amount to “subverting the ordinary process of judicial determination prescribed under the Act” and create ‘judicial disarray’, HELD castigating the CIT that:

(i) The s. 197 proceedings did not create any embargo because the order had worked itself out and in any event the s. 197 order was a tentative measure for TDS and did not in anyway fetter the jurisdiction of the AAR.

(ii) The CIT had attempted to denude the AAR of its undoubted jurisdiction by raising a bogey of creating “judicial disarray” even when it was seeking to exercise its legitimate jurisdiction. This was not in keeping with healthy traditions. The CIT’s attempt to belittle the role of the AAR in the statutory scheme of adjudication could not be countenanced. Dismay expressed over the language adopted by the CIT.