Category: All Judgements

Archive for the ‘All Judgements’ Category


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DATE: April 9, 2021 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 14, 2021 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
The DTVSV Act, 2020 is an Act to provide for resolution of disputed tax and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The emphasis is on disputed tax and not on disputed income. From a plain reading of the provisions of the DTVSV Act, 2020 and the Rules set out above, it emerges that the Designated Authority would have to issue Form 3 as referred to in section 5(1) specifying the amount payable in accordance with section 3 of the DTVSV Act. In the case of the declarant who is an eligible appellant not falling under section 4(6) nor within the exceptions in section 9 of the DTVSV Act, 2020, which fact appears to be undisputed

Before Hon’ble High Court, the Petitioner challenged the arbitrary and unreasonable action of the Designated Authority (Respondent No.2) in rejecting the declarationfiled under the DTVSV Act. It was argued before the Hon’ble High Court that thePetitioner’s case doesn’t fall under any of the disqualifications mentioned in section 9 of the DTVSV Act, 2020 and therefore, the Designated Authority has no power to reject the application without assigning any reason for the same. It was submitted before the Hon’ble Court that the Petitioner has satisfied all the conditions to make the declaration under the DTVSV Act, 2020 and therefore, he is eligible to seek all the benefits under the said Act. On the other hand, the department argued that the declaration of the Petitioner is not valid as there cannot be any disputed tax in the absence of any disputed income. Thus, the declaration of the Petitioner has been rightly rejected

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DATE: April 6, 2021 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: April 7, 2021 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
S. 254(2A) Stay by ITAT: Since the object of the 3rd proviso to s. 254(2A) is the automatic vacation of a stay that has been granted on the completion of 365 days, whether or not the assessee is responsible for the delay caused in hearing the appeal, such object being itself discriminatory, is liable to be struck down as violating Article 14 of the Constitution of India. Also, the said proviso would result in the automatic vacation of a stay upon the expiry of 365 days even if the Appellate Tribunal could not take up the appeal in time for no fault of the assessee. Further, vacation of stay in favour of the revenue would ensue even if the revenue is itself responsible for the delay in hearing the appeal. In this sense, the said proviso is also manifestly arbitrary being a provision which is capricious, irrational and disproportionate so far as the assessee is concerned. Consequently, the third proviso to s. 254(2A) will now be read without the word “even” and the words “is not” after the words “delay in disposing of the appeal”. Any order of stay shall stand vacated after the expiry of the period or periods mentioned in the Section only if the delay in disposing of the appeal is attributable to the assessee.

Judged by both these parameters, there can be no doubt that the third proviso to Section 254(2A) of the Income Tax Act, introduced by the Finance Act, 2008, would be both arbitrary and discriminatory and, therefore, liable to be struck down as offending Article 14 of the Constitution of India. First and foremost, as has correctly been held in the impugned judgment, unequals are treated equally in that no differentiation is made by the third proviso between the assessees who 23 https://itatonline.org are responsible for delaying the proceedings and assessees who are not so responsible. This is a little peculiar in that the legislature itself has made the aforesaid differentiation in the second proviso to Section 254(2A) of the Income Tax Act, making it clear that a stay order may be extended upto a period of 365 days upon satisfaction that the delay in disposing of the appeal is not attributable to the assessee. We have already seen as to how, as correctly held by Narang Overseas (supra), the second proviso was introduced by the Finance Act, 2007 to mitigate the rigour of the first proviso to Section 254(2A) of the Income Tax Act in its previous avatar. Ordinarily, the Appellate Tribunal, where possible, is to hear and decide appeals within a period of four years from the end of the financial year in which such appeal is filed. It is only when a stay of the impugned order before the Appellate Tribunal is granted, that the appeal is required to be disposed of within 365 days. So far as the disposal of an appeal by the Appellate Tribunal is concerned, this is a directory provision. However, so far as vacation of stay on expiry of the said period is concerned, this condition becomes mandatory so far as the assessee is concerned. The object sought to be achieved by the third proviso to Section 254(2A) of the Income Tax Act is without doubt the speedy disposal of appeals before the Appellate Tribunal in cases in which a stay has been granted in favour of the assessee.

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DATE: March 25, 2021 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 27, 2021 (Date of publication)
AY: 2018-19
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CITATION:
S. 11/ Form No.10B: Under Circular No.2 / 2020 dated 03.01.2020, the CBDT has delegated the power to the CIT to admit belated applications in filing Form No.10B for AY 2018-19 and onwards for a period of only upto 365 days. There is no error or infirmity in this stand. Fixing a period of one year’s delay i.e., 365 days of delay for condonation of delay in filing Form No.10B for AY 2018-19 and onwards cannot be said to be arbitrary or irrational. However, there is also nothing in s. 119(2)(b) preventing or precluding the CBDT from passing a special order in any given case from condoning the delay in filing Form No.10B beyond 365 days despite passing a general order. The Petitioner should approach the CBDT which will deal with the claim on merit and in accordance with law

We do not find any error or infirmity in the view taken by the CBDT vide Circular No.2 / 2020 or by the Commissioner while passing the impugned order dated 19.02.2020. Fixing a period of one year’s delay i.e., 365 days of delay for condonation of delay in filing Form No.10B for the assessment year 2018-19 and onwards cannot be said to be arbitrary or irrational. Therefore the general order passed by the CBDT in this regard under section 119(2)(b) cannot be faulted. However, there is also nothing in section 119(2)(b) preventing or precluding CBDT from passing a special order in any given case from condoning the delay in filing Form No.10B beyond 365 days despite passing a general order

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DATE: March 25, 2021 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 27, 2021 (Date of publication)
AY: 2015-16
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CITATION:
Vivad se Vishwas Act: The CBDT's answer to question No.73 that the ineligibility u/s 9(a)(ii) relates to an assessment year and if for that assessment year a prosecution has been instituted, then the taxpayer would not be eligible to file declaration for the said assessment year even on issues not relating to prosecution would not only be illogical and irrational but would be in complete deviation from section 9(a)(ii). On a literal or purposive interpretation, the only exclusion visualized under the said provision is pendency of a prosecution in respect of tax arrear relatable to an assessment year as on the date of filing of declaration and not pendency of a prosecution in respect of an assessment year on any issue. To hold that an assessee would not be eligible to file a declaration because there is a pending prosecution for the assessment year in question on an issue unrelated to tax arrear would defeat the very purport and object of the Vivad se Vishwas Act

The prosecution against the petitioner has been initiated under section 276-C(2) of the Act because of the delayed payment of the balance amount of the self-assessment tax. Such delayed payment cannot be construed to be a tax arrear within the meaning of section 2(1)(o) of the Act. Therefore such a prosecution cannot be said to be in respect of tax arrear. Because such a prosecution is pending which is relatable to the assessment year 2015-16, it would be in complete defiance of logic to debar the petitioner from filing a declaration for settlement of tax arrear for the said assessment year which is pending in appeal before the Tribunal.

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DATE: March 25, 2021 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 27, 2021 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
Customs Act: It is a settled proposition that when a law requires a thing to be done in a particular manner, it has to be done in the prescribed manner and proceeding in any other manner is necessarily forbidden. An order is vitiated if it is passed in violation of the principles of natural justice. Where there is a breach of principles of natural justice, existence of an alternate remedy of appeal would be no bar to exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India

In the light of the discussions made above, we are of the unhesitant view that the impugned order in original is clearly unsustainable in law being in violation of the principles of natural justice as well as the statutory provisions as alluded to hereinabove. In the circumstances, relegating the petitioner to the forum of appeal does not arise. Consequently, we set aside the impugned order in original dated 23.09.2020 and direct that the proper officer may proceed with the matter afresh, if he is so inclined, by following the mandate of section 124 of the Customs Act and Rule 12 of the Customs Valuation (Determination of Value of Imported Goods) Rules, 2007. We further direct that respondent No.2 shall assign the hearing to a proper officer other than respondent No.3, who had passed the impugned order in original

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DATE: February 11, 2021 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 20, 2021 (Date of publication)
AY: 2015-16
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CITATION:
S. 271AAB: Penalty u/s 271AAB can only be levied on "undisclosed income". The expression ‘undisclosed income’ is given a definite and specific meaning. It has not been described in an inclusive manner so as to enable the tax authorities to give a wider or elastic meaning. Species of income which is not specifically covered by the definition cannot be brought within its ambit. Such penal provisions are required to be interpreted in a strict, specific and restricted manner. Income declared by the assessee in the return of income or found or assessed by the AO in the assessment proceedings may be relevant for assessment of the income under section 68 /69 and other related provisions of the Act and also for the levy of penalty u/s 271(1)(c) of the Act. However, if it does not fall within the four corners of the definition of “undisclosed income”, penalty u/s 271AAB cannot be levied

The Assessing Officer has levied penalty @ 10% of the alleged undisclosed income, however, it is a matter of record in this case that the assessee has not made any surrender of any undisclosed income during the search action. The assessing officer has not initiated the penalty proceedings u/s 271AAB of the Act on the basis of or in consequence of the said search action, rather the assessing officer, has initiated the penalty proceedings during the assessment proceedings solely on the ground that the assessee has disclosed certain income from undisclosed sources in the return of income and paid due taxes thereupon

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DATE: March 16, 2021 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 20, 2021 (Date of publication)
AY: 2016-17
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CITATION:
A notice issued u/s 142(1) requiring the assessee to furnish a return of income when the assessee had already earlier filed a return is not valid. Once a valid return of income was available on record, which was already processed issuing notice u/s 142(1) of the Act asking the assessee to furnish fresh notice in itself is invalid making subsequently proceedings void ab initio. The assessment order has to be quashed for want of jurisdiction

In our considered opinion, once a valid return of income was available on record, which was already processed issuing notice u/s 142(1) of the Act asking the assessee to furnish fresh notice in itself is invalid making subsequently proceedings void ab initio.

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DATE: March 4, 2021 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 13, 2021 (Date of publication)
AY: 2012-13
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CITATION:
S. 90, 91: An Indian taxpayer is not entitled to claim refunds from the Government of India of taxes paid by the said taxpayer outside India, i.e., to the foreign Governments, in respect of the income taxes paid abroad on income earned in the respective tax jurisdictions, if the said income is not taxed in India due to a loss. However, the taxes paid abroad are allowable as a deduction in the computation of the business income of the assessee (Entire law is discussed in detail)

In the present case, our entire focus was on whether these foreign tax credits could be allowed even when such tax credits lead to a situation in which taxes paid abroad could be refunded in India, but that must not be construed to mean that, as a corollary to our decision, these foreign tax credits would have been allowed, even if there is no domestic tax liability in respect of the related income in India if it was not to result in such a refund situation. At the cost of repetition, we may add that, for the detailed reasons set out earlier, we have our reservations on the applicability of the Wipro decision (supra) on this bench, being situated outside of the jurisdiction of Hon’ble Karnataka High Court, and we are of the considered view that full tax credit for source taxation cannot, as such and to that extent, be extended in the residence jurisdiction when a tax treaty sanctions only proportionate credit, and does not, in any case, specifically provide for the full foreign tax credit. A full tax credit, which goes beyond eliminating double taxation of an income, actually ends up subsidizing the foreign exchequer, to the extent that the taxes paid to the foreign exchequer are allowed to discharge exclusive domestic tax liability, rather than eliminating double taxation of an income, and that is the reason that even in the solitary full credit situation visualized in the Indian tax treaties, in the Indo Namibia tax treaty (supra), it’s one-way traffic inasmuch as while India, as a relatively developed nation, offers, under article 23(2), full credit for taxes paid in Namibia, whereas, in contrast, Namibia, as a developing nation, offers, under article 23(1), proportionate credit for taxes paid in India. It reinforces our understanding that the full foreign tax credits cannot be inferred to be permissible as a matter of course and normal practice

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DATE: February 12, 2021 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 3, 2021 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
S. 153A, 153C search assessments: (i) A statement recorded u/s 132(4) has evidentiary value but cannot justify the additions in the absence of corroborative material. (ii) The statement also cannot, on a standalone basis, constitute 'incriminating material' so as to empower the AO to frame a block assessment u/s 153A (iii) If the statement was recorded in the course of search conducted in the case of a third party, and assuming the statement is construed as 'incriminating material belonging to or pertaining to a person other than person searched', the only legal recourse available to the department is to proceed in terms of S. 153C of the Act by handing over the same to the AO who has jurisdiction over such person. An assessment framed u/s 153A on the basis of alleged incriminating material (being the statement recorded under 132(4) of the Act) is not valid. The Assessee also had no opportunity to cross-examine the said witness (All imp judgements referred)

Now, coming to the aspect viz the invocation of section 153A on the basis of the statement recorded in search action against a third person. We may note that the AO has used this statement on oath recorded in the course of search conducted in the case of a third party (i.e., search of Pradeep Kumar Jindal) for making the additions in the hands of the assessee. As per the mandate of Section 153C, if this statement was to be construed as an incriminating material belonging to or pertaining to a person other than person searched (as referred to in Section 153A), then the only legal recourse available to the department was to proceed in terms of Section 153C of the Act by handing over the same to the AO who has jurisdiction over such person. Here, the assessment has been framed under section 153A on the basis of alleged incriminating material (being the statement recorded under 132(4) of the Act). As noted above, the Assessee had no opportunity to cross-examine the said witness, but that apart, the mandatory procedure under section 153C has not been followed.

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DATE: March 2, 2021 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 2, 2021 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
Taxability of sums received for supply of software as "royalty": Given the definition of royalties contained in Article 12 of the DTAAs, the amounts paid by resident Indian end-users/ distributors to non-resident computer software manufacturers/suppliers, as consideration for the resale/use of the computer software through EULAs/distribution agreements is not the payment of royalty for the use of copyright in the computer software and that the same does not give rise to any income taxable in India, as a result of which the persons referred to in section 195 of the Income Tax Act were not liable to deduct any TDS under section 195 of the Income Tax Act. The provisions contained in the Income Tax Act (section 9(1)(vi), along with explanations 2 and 4 thereof), which deal with royalty, not being more beneficial to the assessees, have no application in the facts of these cases

Given the definition of royalties contained in Article 12 of the DTAAs mentioned in paragraph 41 of this judgment, it is clear that there is no obligation on the persons mentioned in section 195 of the Income Tax Act to deduct tax at source, as the distribution agreements/EULAs in the facts of these cases do not create any interest or right in such distributors/end-users, which would amount to the use of or right to use any copyright. The provisions contained in the Income Tax Act (section 9(1)(vi), along with explanations 2 and 4 thereof), which deal with royalty, not being more beneficial to the assessees, have no application in the facts of these cases. Our answer to the question posed before us, is that the amounts paid by resident Indian end-users/distributors to non-resident computer software manufacturers/suppliers, as consideration for the resale/use of the computer software through EULAs/distribution agreements, is not the payment of royalty for the use of copyright in the computer software, and that the same does not give rise to any income taxable in India, as a result of which the persons referred to in section 195 of the Income Tax Act were not liable to deduct any TDS under section 195 of the Income Tax Act. The answer to this question will apply to all four categories of cases enumerated by us in paragraph 4 of this judgment