Question And Answer
Subject: Can prosecution proceedings be launched before completion of assessment proceedings or pendency of appeal?
Querist: Swwapnil
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Date: May 9, 2021
Query asked by Swwapnil

Can the prosecution be initiated during the pendency and before the completion of assessment or during the pendency of Appeal before the appellate authority?

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Answer given by

The Prosecution proceedings are separate and distinct from assessment proceedings. There is no requirement in the Act that assessment proceedings should be completed before launching of prosecution. Prosecution being the most potent weapon in the fight against the tax evasion, it is required that prosecution should be filed at the earliest. In the case of Jayappan v. ITO 1984 AIR 1693 held that, prosecution can be launched without waiting for assessment to be completed.

Note :

The assessment proceedings and criminal proceedings are entirely different. The assessment proceedings are conducted by the Income tax Authorities and such proceedings are civil in nature, where as the criminal proceedings are conducted before the Court. The provisions of the Law of Evidence are to be strictly followed in criminal proceedings. In P. Jayappan v. ITO ( 1984 ) 149 ITR 696 (SC) the Court held that the two types of proceedings could run simultaneously and that one need not wait for the other. In Kalluri Krishna Pushkar v Dy.CIT( 2016) 236 Taxman 27 ( AP& T) (HC), the Court held that, the Court held that existence of other ,mode of recovery cannot act as a bar to the initiation of prosecution proceedings here the prosecution was initiated u/s 276C, for non payment of admitted tax and interest .

Dr. K. Shivaram, Senior Advocate

Read more ; Guide To Offenses And Prosecutions Under The Income-tax Act, 1961

“>Guide To Offenses And Prosecutions Under The Income-tax Act, 1961

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