The author laments that the Government is losing crores of rupees due to delay in filing of tax appeals by the tax department. He makes out a fervent case for accountability.
It has been observed that in last two years the department is filing most of the appeals after inordinate delay ranging from 50 days to 1200 days. The only reason is restructuring of tax administration and delay in getting approval from the Ministry of Law. The Tax Bench has already disposed about 3000 notices of motion and another 3,000 notices of motion may be pending for condonation of delay. If this trend continues it is very unfortunate that the courts precious time will be devoted only for hearing of notices of motion of tax department and court may not have the time to deal with important tax matters. This will increase the pendency before the High Court.
When pendency increases the questions will be raised in the Parliament that as the High Court is not able to dispose the tax matters for years hence they have to go ahead with the proposed National Tax Tribunal. One may have to consider: Why delay in filing of appeal in most of the cases? Is it really worth filing of belated appeals before the court? And who is accountable for delay?
If High Court dismisses 70% of notices of motions; i.e., 4200, apart from tax revenue, actual expenditure will be at least 4.20 crores on stamp papers and another 4.20 crores will be for drafting and representing etc. All this expenses are met out of the tax-payers money. Why tax-payers money should be spent on such an unproductive purpose. More than 16,000 appeals are filed every year before the Tribunal by the tax department. There is no delay. Why there is delay in filing appeals to the High Court?
This requires serious consideration of the Government.
We hope tax administration will take some remedial measures.
Dr. K. SHIVARAM