Pursuant to the public criticism by the Finance Minister at the mindless litigation undertaken by the department causing loss of crores of rupees to the nation (see Fret Not, Mr. FM, About Appeal-Filing Mania & Grasim superseded .. but whither accountability?), the CBEC issued a Circular to streamline the processing of departmental litigation before the Courts and Tribunal.
The Directorate General of Income Tax (Legal & Research) has now issued a directive to regulate the filing of Special Leave Petition (SLPs) before the Supreme Court. It has been stated:
“3. The objective of the Board is to file SLP in suitable and deserving cases within the period of limitation. Henceforth, the delay in submission of proposal for filing SLP would be analysed in every case in the Directorate and put up to the Member (A&J) for fixation of responsibility. The CIT is primarily responsible to submit the proposal in time. He cannot merely point out delay by the AO or Counsel. He has to explain action taken by him against officers responsible for delay and steps taken by him to prevent recurrence of such delay in future.
5. The compliances requires a little of follow up by officer looking after judicial work and monitoring by the CIT. The CsIT have an obligation to be careful and alert in judicial matters. In case of any doubt, they must get in touch with the DIT (L&R) looking after their charge for assistance preferably through Lotus Note for quick action.”
The directive directs the officers to pay proper attention to avoid any “unpleasant situation“.