|DATE:||(Date of pronouncement)|
|DATE:||September 10, 2014 (Date of publication)|
|Click here to download the judgement (SAP_Labs_AO_Strictures.pdf)|
AO’s action of giving effect to a quashed s. 263 revision order termed “assault on rule of law” & “contempt of court”
The CIT passed an order u/s 263 and held that the assessment order was erroneous and prejudicial to the interests of the revenue. This was set aside by the Tribunal. However, despite being aware of the Tribunal’s order quashing the s. 263 order, the AO passed an assessment order to give effect to the s. 263 order. The CIT(A) quashed the assessment order. On appeal by the department to the Tribunal HELD dismissing the appeal:
By the by, we are very much astonished to observe that the AO has passed a revised assessment order even after knowing that the revision order passed by the CIT has been set aside by the Tribunal. The action of the AO could be treated as assault on the rule of law. His action amounts to contempt of court as well. The Revenue could have preferred to file an appeal before the High Court against the order of the Tribunal setting aside the revision order passed by the CIT. If such an appeal has been already filed, well and good. Otherwise, Revenue has no remedy when the Tribunal has set aside the revision order of the CIT. The said order no more exists and the AO has no substratum to build a second round of revised assessment. We do not think that all these matters are unknown to the Assessing Authority. But giving due consideration to the explanations offered by the learned senior officers appearing for the Revenue and also for the reason that the AO might have prompted to act in haste, only in public interest, we do not proceed further in this matter. But we wish that before jumping into such controversial games, the AO ought to have taken advice from his seniors.
“….the AO ought to have taken advice from his seniors.” Not clear, why so; AO could have even on his own , without the need for a superior’s advice, chosen to do the obviously right thing in such a matter of routine procedure. The entire episode makes for a bizarre reading; and once more, is a sad reflection on the functioning in a callous manner of the Officers in general as has been time and again critically commented on by the ITAT.
Better the CBDT thinks of taking all conceivable steps, in public interest, for betterment of the entire system-the tax regime, before the scenario becomes irredeemably worse.
Appears, may be with so called LL.B degrees of AOs, think they can do anything, if this subject AO holds some LL.B. There is clear temerity on the art of AO.
I wonder if the departmental promotion committees gave promotion or if UPSC selected such AOs , it is clear either promotion or recruitment may be at serious flaw.
Any way all AOs should undergo departmental tests in IT Act 1963 as also rules and without getting passing like in SAS TESTS AO functions may be suspended forth with for credibility of Ministry of finance of government of India.
Also if rhe AO committed contempt of court let him be tried under contempt of court Act to instill confidence in assessees mind as also public is my thoughts sirs!
IN THE COMMMON LAW EVERY FUNCTIONING SHOULD BE SEEN AS WHAT KIND OF MOTIVE/INTENTION BEHIND THE SUCH FUNCTIONING.IN THE PRESENT MATTER MOTIVE/INTENTION DID NOT APPEARE. BUT LAW IA LAW WHICH NEVER WALK WITH SOFT FEELINGS, SO CONTEMPT OF THE COURT PROCEEDING MUST BE INITIATED TO SET AN EXAMPLE, TO AVOID SUCH KIND OF STUPID INTRUTION.
Law is an approximation only. Not a sacrosanct edit. Discretion is better part of valor. Revenue need to be sensible, as powers were delegated with limitation prescription. When crossed by administrators it is right on the part of judicial system to interfere and admonish wherever it is needed,
Advocacy is just representative in character, as you represent a client. Judge represents the interests under law of equity and good conscience.
Lawyers are just officers of court and not bosses of courts they should realize. If not advocate has no place in any court , may be he to be in politics!
Even legislatures though make laws but agree to subject such laws to adjudication of judiciary, that is prudence, If not no one would follow all half backed legislation.
In the days of Kings, Kings followed the principle of Quality of Mercy.
Administrators think today as if they are above God. Naturally need to be admonished, even if it means need to be set to jails to penitence for their sins!
Why common law of equity came into being?