The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Justice Pradipkumar Premshankar Bhatt, former Judge, Gujarat High Court, to the post of the President in the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT).
Deep knowledge of varied laws and also administrative experience
During his practice as a lawyer, Justice Bhatt has appeared in several matters relating to Constitutional Law, Service Law, Civil as well as Criminal Law.
He has served as the Registrar General of the High Court of Gujarat and has deep knowledge about the administrative aspects of the judiciary.
He has also served as a judge in the City Civil & Sessions Court, Ahmedabad, and as Special Judge, CBI Court.
Justice Bhatt was elevated as an Additional Judge, High Court of Gujarat on 17th February 2011.
He was transferred to the High Court of Jharkhand on 27th June, 2011 and thereafter re-transferred to the Gujarat High Court.
Justice Bhatt has been party to several judgements of the Jharkhand High Court on income-tax law including CIT vs. Shakti Spring Industries 2013 (1) J.L.J.R.260 (s. 43B), Shree Ganesh Trading Co. vs. CIT 257 CTR 159 (statement recorded u/s. 132(4)), Central Coal Fields vs. CIT 209 Taxman 150 (s. 226 attachment), CIT vs. Tata Yodogawa 351 ITR 379 etc.
The learned judge retired on 6th September 2018.
Justice Bhatt heard cases till 11 pm to ensure happy Diwali for prisoners
According to the Times of India, during the Diwali vacations, Justice Bhatt heard bail applications from 11am to 11pm for 10 days so as to ensure that the innocent are released from custody as soon as possible.
The selfless act of the learned Judge was deeply appreciated by the legal fraternity.
“This was a nice approach on part of the court. Those who do not deserve bail can wait for the vacation to get over. Those who are in jail unnecessarily must not wait for their turn to come because the court will take two weeks’ Diwali vacation. The court is getting more than 100 applications for temporary bail from jail every day“, Public Prosecutor Mitesh Amin was quoted as saying.
It is also pointed out that out of the total cases of 320 which were disposed of on 13th October 2016, Justice Bhatt disposed of 115 cases. His bail court disposed of 169 out of total 375 cases disposed of on October 14. On Monday, the number was 209 out of 428 disposals. On Tuesday, 188 cases were disposed of by Justice Bhatt out of total 426 disposals.
The learned judge is known to be a workaholic and dedicated towards clearing long-pending appeals as soon as possible.
Tax Bar pleased with appointment, pledges support towards speedy disposal of pending matters
Eminent Jurist Y. P. Trivedi, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), pointed out that the judicial wisdom, administrative skill and innovative thinking of Justice Bhatt will help the Tribunal to retain its high reputation and scale new heights.
Ms. Arati Visanji, President of the ITAT Bar Association, expressed confidence that the considerable and varied experience garnered by the learned judge will be useful in improving the general administration which, in recent times has been severely affected by the depleted staff strength.
She stated that the Bar is looking forward to introduction of measures to maximise all round efficiency as well as expeditious disposal of cases.
Dr. K. Shivaram, Sr. Advocate, was appreciative of the approach of Justice Bhatt of sitting beyond court hours to dispose of matters.
“This shows the dedication that the Honourable Mr. Justice P.P. Bhatt (Retd.) has towards the justice delivery system and towards the greater betterment of the society. He is an example of how one dedicated Judge can contribute to, even as an individual, for meeting the ends of justice,” Dr. Shivaram stated.
We wish the learned judge good luck in his post as President of the ITAT.