Search Results For: 158BFA(1)

DATE: June 29, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: July 6, 2017 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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S. 158BFA(1): If the delay in filing the return is completely attributable to the revenue for non-furnishing of copies of the documents and not giving inspection of the documents seized within a reasonable time after making the demand, the interest has to waived. Though s. 158BFA(1) does not (pre 2002) confer the power to waive interest, it has to be read in on equitable construction because the subject cannot be made to pay for the negligence of the Officers of the State (J. H. Gotla 4 SCC 343 followed)

This now takes us to the final issue viz. is it open under the provisions of Section 158-BFA(1) of the Act to the Assessing Officer to waive interest imposable thereunder even in the absence of any discretion provided to waive interest under Section 158-BFA(1) of the Act. There can be no dispute that bare reading of the section does not provide for any discretion to waive and/or reduce the interest imposable on account of the late filing of the return of income. It is a settled position in law that a fiscal statute has to be strictly interpreted, particularly when there is no ambiguity in the statute. The normal rule of interpreting a fiscal statute is the literal rule of interpretation. However, when the Parliament makes a law, it proceeds on the basis that the Executive i.e. the State will act fairly and not cause unjustified burden upon the subject. The provisions of Section 158BFA(1) of the Act proceeds on the above premise and it was expected of the State to grant copies of the documents seized and/or inspection of the record as expeditiously as possible, so as to enable the appellant to file his return of income. This particularly so, as to delay in filing of return, leads to levy of interest. This not having been done, as was expected under the Statute, the subject cannot be made to pay for the negligence of the Officers of the State. Therefore, in a case like this where strict construction may result in injustice, an equitable construction may be preferred