CIT vs. Gujarat State Financial Services Ltd (Gujarat High Court)

DATE: February 17, 2014 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 6, 2014 (Date of publication)
AY: 2014-15
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In view of retrospective amendment, s. 234D will apply to assessment orders passed after 01.06.2003

It can also be noted that the Bombay High Court (Commissioner of Income tax v. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., reported in 2010 TAXMAN 466) has in terms held that the decision of the Tribunal in ITO v. Ekta Promoters (P.) Ltd., reported in (2008) 113 ITD 719 (Delhi) (SB) was not correct, by holding that till such time, the assessment proceedings are completed in respect of relevant assessment year, the Amended Act would be applicable to the pending proceedings. For all the pending proceedings in regard to which the refund has been provided under section 143(1) of the Act, which are not concluded and finalized, the refunds are held to be granted under section 143(1) of the Act as finally determined when final assessment is passed under section 143(3) of the Act. Explanation 2 to section 234D of the Act applies thus to the pending proceedings, where the assessment in respect of assessment year is not completed on June 01, 2003. The Court held that the provision for charging interest in every case was a part of substantive law and not an arbitrary provision and though in those cases where the refunds have been granted prior to June 01, 2003, section 234D was not applied for not having any retrospective operation, however, in all pending proceedings, where the assessment had not been completed on June 01, 2003, the same has been made applicable. In other words, explanation (2) to section 234D of the Act has been made applicable to even the assessment year commencing before June 01, 2003. The only requirement in such a case would be that the assessment has to be completed after June 01, 2003. Therefore, after insertion of Explanation 2, the operation of section 234D of charging interest on the excess refund paid to the assessee is not restricted, making operation of such section effective from June 01, 2003. In other words, the refund granted under section 143(1) of the Act in respect of a particular assessment year, is subject to the final determination under subsection (3) of section 143 of the Act. Addition of Explanation 2 to section 234D of the Act when is being held declaratory amendment, what would be relevant for the purpose of charging interest on the refund granted under section 143(1) of the Act is the date of completion of assessment. If the assessment is framed after June 01, 2003, the said provision shall have applicability.

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