|DATE:||(Date of pronouncement)|
|DATE:||July 24, 2014 (Date of publication)|
|Click here to download the judgement (nayan_builders_HC_penalty_271_1_c.pdf)|
Mere admission of Appeal by High Court sufficient to disbar s. 271(1)(c) penalty
In quantum proceedings, the Tribunal upheld the addition of three items of income. The assessee filed an appeal to the High Court which was admitted. The AO levied penalty u/s 271(1)(c) in respect of the said three items. The penalty was upheld by the CIT (A). The Tribunal deleted the penalty on the ground that when the High Court admits substantial question of law on an addition, it becomes apparent that the addition is certainly debatable. In such circumstances penalty cannot be levied u/s 271(1) (c). It held that the admission of substantial question of law by the High Court lends credence to the bona fides of the assessee in claiming deduction. It added that once it turns out that the claim of the assessee could have been considered for deduction as per a person properly instructed in law and is not completely debarred at all, the mere fact of confirmation of disallowance would not per se lead to the imposition of penalty. On appeal by the department to the High Court HELD dismissing the appeal:
This Appeal cannot be entertained as it does not raise any substantial question of law. The imposition of penalty was found not to be justified and the Appeal was allowed. As a proof that the penalty was debatable and arguable issue, the Tribunal referred to the order on Assessee’s Appeal in Quantum proceedings and the substantial questions of law which have been framed therein. We have also perused that order dated 27.09.2010 admitting Income Tax Appeal No.2368 of 2009. In our view, there was no case made out for imposition of penalty and the same was rightly set aside.