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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: December 12, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 21, 2019 (Date of publication)
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S. 244A: Interest on refund is compensation for unauthorized retention of money by the Department. When the collection is illegal & amount is refunded, it should carry interest in the matter of course. There is no reason to deny payment of interest to the deductor who had deducted tax at source and deposited the same with the Treasury. The Department is directed to pay interest as prescribed u/s 244-A at the earliest (UOI vs. Tata Chemicals 363 ITR 658 (SC) followed)

When the said amount is refunded it should carry interest in the matter of course. As held by the Courts while awarding interest, it is a kind of compensation of use and retention of the money collected unauthorizedly by the Department. When the collection is illegal, there is corresponding obligation on the Revenue to refund such amount with interest inasmuch as they have retained and enjoyed the money deposited

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DATE: December 12, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 21, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2012-13
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S. 147 reopening for bogus purchases & accommodation entries: The omission of the AO to make an assertion in the reasons that there was a failure to disclose fully and truly all material facts necessary for the assessment is sufficient to set aside the reassessment notice. Also, a notice issued on change of opinion is bad

The reasons also refer to a decision of the Supreme Court in the case of M/s.N.K.Proteins Ltd. (2017-TIOL-23-SC-IT v. DCIT ). Even this decision was before the Assessing Officer in the proceeding pursuant to first reopening notice. The Petitioner, along with its objections, placed explanatory note as to how the said decision of the Supreme Court in M/s.N.K.Proteins did not apply to the facts of the case. Therefore, this aspect was also considered when the proceeding under the first reopening notice was conducted

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DATE: December 6, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 21, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2008-09
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S. 68/ 69C: In case of bogus purchases where sales are accepted, the addition can be made only to the extent of difference between the GP declared by the assessee on normal purchases vis a vis bogus purchases. The AO is directed to restrict the addition to the extent of lower GP declared by the assessee in respect of bogus purchases as compared to G.P. on normal purchases

It is clear from the above decisions that in case of bogus purchases where sales are accepted, the addition is required to be made only to the extent of difference between the GP declared by the assessee on normal purchases vis a vis bogus purchases

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DATE: November 21, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 7, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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S. 4/ 56: Amount received by assessee for relinquishing secretaryship of educational society cannot be treated as a capital receipt. The question of the principle of capital asset being invoked does not arise. The receipt is assessable as income from other sources. It may have been a different matter if it was a case of life time appointment of the assessee as Secretary of the concerned Institution but no such evidence was produced by the assessee (CIT vs. Ramachandra Rao 330 ITR 0322 affirmed)

The substance of the admission is that the appellant was holding the post of Secretary of the Institution [Paramahamsa Foundation (R) Trust] until 1996 but he left the institution after new members were elected as the managing committee. That being the case, the question of appellant invoking the principle of capital asset does not arise. It may have been a different matter if it was a case of life time appointment of the appellant as Secretary of the concerned Institution. No such evidence was produced by the appellant before the assessing officer or before us

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DATE: November 11, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 7, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2008-09
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S. 147/ 151: As the Act provides for sanction by the JCIT, the sanction by the CIT does not meet the requirement of the Act and the reopening notice is without jurisdiction. The fact that the sanction is granted by a superior officer is not relevant

The reopening proceedings under section 148 are bad as necessary sanction/approval had not been obtained in terms of section 151 of the Act. The impugned order of the Tribunal records that the sanction for issuing the impugned notice had been obtained from the Commissioner of Income Tax when, in terms of section 151, the sanction had to be obtained from the Joint Commissioner of Income Tax. Thus, in the absence of sanction/approval being obtained from the appropriate authority as mandated by the Act, the Tribunal held that the reopening notice itself is without jurisdiction

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DATE: December 2, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: December 7, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2009-10
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S. 147 Reopening of Bogus share capital/ premium: If the PCIT, while granting approval for issue of notice u/s. 148, has only mentioned “YES”, it establishes that the approving authority has given approval to the reopening of assessment in a mechanical manner without due application of mind. On this count the reassessment is not sustainable in the eyes of law and needs to be quashed (All imp judgements referred)

The Ld. Pr. Commissioner of Income Tax, Delhi-2, New Delhi while granting approval for issue of notice u/s. 148 of the Act in Column no. 12 has only mentioned that “YES”, which establish that the approving authority has given approval to the reopening of assessment in a mechanical manner without due application of mind and therefore, on this account the reassessment is not sustainable in the eyes of law and needs to be 6 quashed.

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DATE: November 22, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 30, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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Appeal u/s 246A reg denial of liability to pay buy-back tax u/s 115QA: The expression “denies his liability to be assessed” in s. 246A takes within its fold every case where the assessee denies his liability to be assessed under the Act. It is not confined to the liability to be assessed u/s 143(3) but applies also to the liability to pay tax u/s 115QA. If there is adequate appellate remedy, a Writ Petition under Article 226 cannot be entertained (Kanpur Coal Syndicate 53 ITR 225 (SC) & Chhabil Dass Agarwal 357 ITR 357 (SC) followed)

If the submission of the appellant is accepted and the concerned expression as stated hereinabove in Section 246(1)(a) or in Section 246A(1)(a) is to be considered as relatable to the liability of an assessee to be assessed under Section 143(3) as contended, there would be no appellate remedy in case of any determination under Section 115QA. The issues may arise not just confined to the question whether the company is liable at all but may also relate to other facets including the extent of liability and also with regard to computation. If the submission is accepted, every time the dispute will be required to be taken up in proceedings such as a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, which normally would not be entertained in case of any disputed questions of fact or concerning factual aspects of the matter. The assessee may thus, not only lose a remedy of having the matter considered on factual facets of the matter but would also stand deprived of regular channels of challenges available to it under the hierarchy of fora available under the Act

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DATE: November 11, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 30, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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Levy of penalty u/s 271(1)(c) is not valid if (i) there is no record of satisfaction by the AO that there was any concealment of income or that any inaccurate particulars were furnished by the assessee or (ii) If the notice is issued in the printed form and the inapplicable portions are not struck off (Samson Perinchery 392 ITR 4 (Bom) & New Era Sova Mine [2019 SCC OnLine Bom 1032] followed, Mak Data 358 ITR 593 (SC) distinguished).

The notice which is issued to the assessee must indicate whether the Assessing Officer is satisfied that the case of the assessee involves concealment of particulars of income or furnishing of inaccurate particulars of income or both, with clarity. If the notice is issued in the printed form, then, the necessary portions which are not applicable are required to be struck off, so as to indicate with clarity the nature of the satisfaction recorded

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DATE: November 15, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: November 30, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: 2018-19
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Static vs. Ambulatory interpretation of DTAAs: Entire law on whether the retrospective amendments to the definition of "royalty" in s. 9(1)(vi) of the Act can have bearing on the interpretation of the same term in the DTAAs explained with reference to the doctrine of "treaty override" and the Vienna Convention (Siemens AG 310 ITR 320 (Bom) explained)

That is a classic case of a subtle unilateral treaty override. While, in India, the expression ‘treaty override’ is often loosely used for the situations where the provisions of tax treaty prevails over any inconsistent provisions of domestic law, this approach seems to be at variance with the international practices wherein connotations of ‘treaty override’ refer to a situation in which domestic legislation of a treaty partner jurisdiction overrules the provisions of a single treaty or all treaties hitherto having had effect in that jurisdiction. That will be the end result of a domestic law amendment of an undefined treaty term, in departure from the current position, and import such amended meaning of that term, under article 3(2), in the treaty situations as well. Such an approach, on the first principles, is unsound inasmuch as it is well settled in law that the treaty partners ought to observe their treaties, including their tax treaties, in good faith. Article 26 of Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties provides that, “Pacta sunt servanda: Every treaty in force is binding on the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith”. What it implies is that whatever be the provisions of the treaties, these provisions are to be given effect in good faith. Therefore, no matter how desirable or expedient it may be from the perspective of the tax administration, when a tax jurisdiction is allowed to amend the settled position with respect to a treaty provision, by an amendment in the domestic law and admittedly to nullify the judicial rulings, it cannot be treated as performance of treaties in good faith. That is, in effect, a unilateral treaty over-ride which is contrary to the scheme of Article 26 of Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties