|COURT:||Bombay High Court|
|CORAM:||A. K. Menon J., M. S. Sanklecha J|
|CATCH WORDS:||stay of demand, strictures|
|COUNSEL:||Atul Jasani, J.D. Mistri, Niraj Sheth|
|DATE:||March 17, 2016 (Date of pronouncement)|
|DATE:||March 28, 2016 (Date of publication)|
|FILE:||Click here to download the file in pdf format|
|Strictures passed against high-handed and unfair approach of AO (IRS Officer) in refusing to give an acknowledgement of stay application. Chief CIT directed to ensure such behaviour is not repeated. Dept directed to nominate another AO to hear stay application|
(i) We find this conduct on the part of the Assessing Officer to accept a stay application and not immediately give acknowledgement of its receipt is unacceptable. The least that is expected of a civil servant is to be fair and civil. In the absence of the above, his conduct is not one becoming of an Officer belonging to the prestigious Indian Revenue Service. The least that is expected of an Officer is that when a person files an application / letter, which is accepted by him, an acknowledgement should be forthwith given to the party filing the application or letter. In case he refuses to accept the letter he should endorse on the letter / application the reason why it is not being accepted with a line or two for the refusal to accept. In case he does accept it and give an acknowledgment he can deal with the applications/ letters as is appropriate in accordance with law. We believe that what has happened in this case is an aberration. However, the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax would ensure that his Officers do not behave in such an high handed and unfair manner, not expected of civil servants.
(ii) Be that as it may, the stay application is still pending decision. Normally, we would have let the Assessing Officer decide the same. However, looking at the manner in which the petitioner has been dealt with by the Assessing Officer in regard to its stay application dated 17th February, 2016, it would be in the interest of justice that the application for stay filed by the petitioner be heard by another Officer different from the Assessing Officer i.e. respondent no.1 herein. The Officer to deal with the petitioner’s stay application dated 17th July, 2016 is to be selected / nominated by the Revenue.