|DATE:||(Date of pronouncement)|
|DATE:||December 1, 2010 (Date of publication)|
|Click here to download the judgement (priti_agarwala_dept_strictures.pdf)|
Revenue Secretary & CBDT Chairman summoned for turning “deaf ear” to inefficiencies redressal
The department filed an appeal in the High Court and claimed that as the Tribunal’s order was received on a particular date, the appeal was on time. However, the assessee obtained information from the Tribunal under the Right to Information Act and pointed out that the order was served on an earlier date and that the appeal was belated. HELD taking a serious view of the matter and summoning the Revenue Secretary and Chairman CBDT:
(i) ….. It also shows the un-organized manner in which the Income Tax Department is functioning. We have been observing various kinds of shortcomings and lapses committed by the Income Tax Department in filing and pursuing the appeals in the High Court… The tax effect in some of the appeals is very substantial. Even then no due care is taken by the Department in removing the objections and getting the appeals listed. It creates another kind of suspicion as well;
(ii) Another difficulty which is repeatedly encountered in these appeals is that counsel for the Department for want of proper instructions, is not able to provide information regarding those matters where similar issues arise… This is happening only because there is no organized system which is adopted by the legal section of the Income Tax Department in pursuing these appeals. It is also because of non-computerization of the legal cell. Because of lack of proper coordination between different Departments or in action on the part of the officers of the nature specified above, the Department may be losing huge revenue…;
(iii) Since repeated oral instructions given to the Department from time to time to set its house in order have fallen into deaf ears, we have no option but to bring these aspects to the notice of the higher authorities by means of this order. We also feel it necessary to summon Secretary (Revenue), Govt. of India as well as Chairman CBDT. The Secretary Revenue as well as Chairman CBDT shall appear in the Court on 01.12.2010 at 4.00 P.M.