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DATE: March 23, 2020 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: March 23, 2020 (Date of publication)
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Extension of limitation period: To obviate difficulties caused by CoronaVirus in filing petitions/ applications/ suits/ appeals/ all other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the general law of limitation or under Special Laws (both Central and/or State) , it is ordered that the period of limitation in all such proceedings, irrespective of the limitation prescribed under the general law or Special Laws, whether condonable or not, shall stand extended w.e.f. 15th March 2020 till further order/s to be passed by this Court in present proceedings

This Court has taken Suo Motu cognizance of the situation arising out of the challenge faced by the country on account of Covid-19 Virus and resultant difficulties that may be faced by litigants across the country in filing their petitions/ applications/ suits/ appeals/all other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the general law of limitation or under Special Laws (both Central and/or State)

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DATE: December 24, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 8, 2020 (Date of publication)
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Search & Seizure: The action of the GST authorities of camping in the assessee's home for 8 days and placing him under house arrest is illegal & a blatant abuse of powers. It has shocked the conscience of the court. This unauthorised action of the officers may tantamount to an offence under the Indian Penal Code. The officials cannot take shelter behind ignorance of law to justify their illegal actions. It is a matter of deep regret that the Chief Commissioner has attempted to justify such wrongful action on the part of the officials

It is a matter of deep regret that the Chief Commissioner of State Tax has attempted to justify such wrongful action on the part of the officers of the department by placing reliance upon the provisions relating to power of investigation under an earlier enactment to justify the actions of the concerned officers who were exercising powers of search and seizure under section 67(2) of the GST Acts. One would expect the higher officer to reprimand the subordinate officers for their unauthorised actions. But in this case, the higher ups, for reasons best known to them are trying to shield the actions of the subordinate officers though they are not in a position to show the relevant provisions of law under which such officers were empowered to act in this manner. All that the court can say at this stage is that the reports submitted of the Chief Commissioner in response to the orders dated 25.10.2019 and 20.11.2019, do not meet with the standards expected from an authority of his stature

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DATE: December 16, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: January 11, 2020 (Date of publication)
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S. 276-B Criminal Prosecution for TDS default: A Director, who is not in charge of and not responsible for day to day business of the Company, is not liable for criminal prosecution, unless specifically it is described in the complaint how he is involved in day to day conduct of the business of the Company (Shyam Sunder AIR 1984 SC 53 & Homi Phiroz Ranina 2003 Bom.C.R. (Cri.) 793 followed)

Unless the complaint disclosed a prima facie case against the applicants/accused of their liability and obligation as principal officers in the day today affairs of the company as directors of the company under section 278(b) the applicants cannot be prosecuted for the offences committed by the company. In the absence of any material in the complaint itself prima facie disclosing responsibility of the accused for the running of the day to day affairs of the company process could not have been issued against them. The applicants cannot be made to undergo the ordial of a trial unless it could be prima facie showed that they are legally liable for the failure of the company in paying the amount deducted to the credit of the company. Otherwise, it would be a travesty without their knowledge

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DATE: December 17, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 23, 2019 (Date of publication)
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Condonation of delay of 916 days: While a liberal approach is to be taken in the matter of condonation of delay & the consideration does not depend on the status of the party, even so the condonation of long delay should not be automatic since the accrued right or adverse consequence to the opposite party is also to be kept in perspective. While considering condonation of delay, routine explanation is not enough but it should be in the nature of indicating “sufficient cause” to justify the delay which will depend on the backdrop of each case and will have to be weighed carefully by the Courts based on the fact situation (Mst Katiji 1987(2) SCC 107 distinguished)

In the case of Katiji (Supra) the entire conspectus relating to condonation of delay has been kept in focus. However, what cannot also be lost sight is that the consideration therein was in the background of dismissal of the application seeking condonation of delay in a case where there was delay of four days pitted against the consideration that was required to be made on merits regarding the upward revision of compensation amounting to 800 per cent.

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DATE: December 18, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 23, 2019 (Date of publication)
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Effect of dismissal of SLP: It is well-settled that the dismissal of an SLP by the Supreme Court against an order or judgment of a lower forum is not an affirmation of the same. If such an order is non-speaking, it does not constitute a declaration of law under Article 141 of the Constitution, or attract the doctrine of merger

It is evident that all the above orders were non-speaking orders, inasmuch as they were confined to a mere refusal to grant special leave to appeal to the petitioners therein. At this juncture, it is useful to recall that it is well-settled that the dismissal of an SLP against an order or judgment of a lower forum is not an affirmation of the same. If such an order of this Court is non-speaking, it does not constitute a declaration of law under Article 141 of the Constitution, or attract the doctrine of merger

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DATE: November 7, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 16, 2019 (Date of publication)
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Condonation of delay of 1754 days: If the stand of the Applicant in the Affidavit that he had no knowledge about the passing of the order is not expressly refuted by the Respondent, the question of disbelieving the stand of the Applicant cannot arise. For this reason, indulgence should be shown to the Applicant by condoning the delay

Unless that fact was to be refuted, the question of disbelieving the stand taken by the appellant(s) on affidavit, cannot arise and for which reason, the High Court should have shown indulgence to the appellant(s) by condoning the delay in filing the concerned appeal(s). This aspect has been glossed over by the High Court

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DATE: October 15, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 21, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2019-20
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CITATION:
Black Money Act: It is not correct to say that while exercising powers under Sections 85 and 86 of the Black Money Act, the Central Government has made the said Act retrospectively applicable from 01.07.2015. The penal provisions u/s 50 and 51 of the Black Money Act would come into play only when an assessee has failed to take benefit of S. 59 and neither disclosed assets covered by the Black Money Act nor paid the tax and penalty thereon

Sub­-section (3) of Section 1 of the Black Money Act, itself provides that save as otherwise provided in this Act, it shall come into force on 1 st day of July, 2015. A conjoint reading of the various provisions would reveal, that the Assessing Officer can charge the taxes only from the assessment year commencing on or after 01.04.2016. However, the value of the said asset has to be as per its valuation in the previous year. As such, even if there was no change of date in sub­section (3) of Section 1 of the Black Money Act, the value of the asset was to be determined as per its valuation in the previous year. The date has been changed only for the purpose of enabling the assessee(s) to take benefit of Section 59 of the Black Money Act. The power has been exercised only in order to remove difficulties. The penal provisions under Sections 50 and 51 of the Black Money Act would come into play only when an assessee has failed to take benefit of Section 59 and neither disclosed assets covered by the Black Money Act nor paid the tax and penalty thereon. As such, we find that the High Court was not right in holding that, by the notification/order impugned before it, the penal provisions were made retrospectively applicable

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DATE: September 19, 2018 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 9, 2019 (Date of publication)
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Service Tax/ GST: The collection of non-refundable deposits by the assessee from prospective flat buyers, for maintaining the building, does not result in the assessee providing management, maintenance or repair service as defined in Section 65(105)(zzg) of Finance Act 1994

The service of maintenance, management or repair, rendered by any person to any other person is a taxable service but in the context and backdrop in which the issue arises before us, we do not think that a taxable service is rendered. The Revenue does not wish to take into consideration the background in which buildings are maintained and till they are conveyed with complete title to even the land beneath. Thus, the provisions of Sections 5 and 6 and eventually the further provisions right upto Section 13 of the MOFA would make it clear that builder and developer maintains and repairs the property till it is conveyed or the title in the same is conveyed to the Flat purchasers or the legal entity which would ultimately be formed by him

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DATE: September 26, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: October 2, 2019 (Date of publication)
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CITATION:
A concession given by Counsel, if it is a concession in law and contrary to the statutory rules, is not binding on the litigant for the reason that there cannot be any estoppel against law (see also Himalayan Cooperative Group Housing Society Vs. Balwan Singh (2015) 7 SCC 373 Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd vs. Mahendra Prasad Jakhmola & V. Ramesh vs. ACIT (Madras High Court)

The concession given by the learned State Counsel before the Tribunal was a concession in law and contrary to the statutory rules. Such concession is not binding on the State for the reason that there cannot be any estoppel against law. The rules provide for a specific Grade of Pay, therefore, the concession given by the learned State Counsel before the Tribunal is not binding on the appellant

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DATE: February 20, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: September 7, 2019 (Date of publication)
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Liability of professionals acting as Non-executive directors: Practicing professionals are prohibited from acting as full time directors. They can only act as non-executive directors not performing administrative duties. Such persons cannot be prosecuted for offenses committed by the company. it will be a travesty of justice to prosecute all Directors if the offense is committed without their knowledge. The accounts are signed by such directors in a routine manner and they are not subject to vicarious liability (Homi Phiroz Ranina & Ors. vs. State of Maharashtra 2003 (3) Mh.L.J. 34 followed)

In Homi Phiroz Ranina & Ors. vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors., the complaint was filed for delay in remitting the tax deducted. The applicant has taken stand that he was non- executive Director of the company and they are also practising advocates and, therefore, they are prohibited under the law to act as full time directors. They could only act as non-executive directors not exercising administrative powers or peforming administrative duties. It is held that unless the complaint discloses a prima facie case against the applicant/accused of their liability and obligation as principal officers in the day to day affairs of the company as Directors of the company, the applicants cannot be prosecuted for the offences committed by the company and held that it will be a travesty of justice to prosecute all the Directors if the offence is committed without their knowledge