ITAT Members’ Training Programme On Intl Tax & Transfer Pricing Inaugurated

Dr. Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, Senior Judge of Bombay High Court inaugurated the ITAT Members Residential Training Programme on International Taxation and Transfer Pricing held at Maharashtra Judicial Academy, Uttan. The training programme is to be conducted from 11th to 20th August 2012.

Justice Chandrachud, Hon'ble President Shri. Veerabhadrappa & Dr. K. Shivaram

Justice Chandrachud appreciated the designing of this programme which is absolutely necessary to update the knowledge of the Members on complex issues like International Taxation and Transfer Pricing. According to him, these are going to be the major part of tax litigations in the years to come and, therefore, Judicial Officers need continuous updation of knowledge, not feeling complacent by the number of years of experience in the field. He observed that orders passed by the ITAT are looked upon by High Court and Supreme Court to have a conceptual understanding of the subject, though they are not binding – being an order passed by an authority subordinate to the Constitutional Courts.

In his inaugural address, Justice Chandrachud appreciated the quality of the orders and the level of knowledge exhibited by the Members in their judgments. He particularly remarked that among all the Tribunals in the Country, the ITAT is maintaining highest standards in delivering their decisions. Being a specialized body, the Hon’ble Judge expressed his view that there should be a stipulated mechanism for elevation of Members of ITAT to High Courts. In his opinion, the specialised knowledge of me Members of the ITAT can be used in High Courts to clear-up the pendency on the tax side. He also complimented that the ITAT Orders are also being appreciated by the International Forums.

At the Inaugural Session the President of the ITAT Shri G.E.Veerabhadrappa also laid out the rational behind conducting such programme which is being held for the first time since its inception of the Tribunal in the year 1941. Dr. K. Shivram, President of the ITAT Bar Association Mumbai also spoke and complemented the efforts of the ITAT to impart and upgrade the knowledge and skills of the Members.

Speech of Dr K.Shivarm, President, ITAT Bar Association, Mumbai

Justice Chandrachud, Hon'ble President Shri. Veerabhadrappa & Dr. K. Shivaram

My lord Justice Dr D.Y.Chandrachud, Hon’ble President Mr G.E. Verrabadrappa, Hon’ble Vice-Presidents, Hon’ble Members, my colleague Mr Arun Sathe,

On behalf of the ITAT BAR Association and on my behalf, I wish you all a very good morning. Let me thank the Honourable President for giving me an honour and opportunity of meeting you all in one of the historic events of this prestigious institution. I must say that for inaugurating this residential training programme Honourble president has invited the most deserving and respected Judge of Bombay High Court. To mention in brief, My Lord have appeared before ITAT, he was assigned the task of adjudicating the matters on the Tax bench and has also addressed many National and International seminars.

I make an request to the Honorable president that whenever we have such orientation course for new members, the Members may be given a chance at least for one day to attend and watch the proceedings before the Court of Honourable Justice Dr D.Y.Chandrachud. One of the Australian consultants who met me after witnessing the proceedings in Your Lordships court could not resist from praising and complimenting the enthusiasm and energy demonstrated by your lordship during the proceedings.

2. When we came to know about the Residential Referesher course for members I wrote an editorial in our Journal AIFP June 2012. I also expressed my view for better administration of justice. It is for the first time in the history of ITAT that a “Residential Training Programme” is being organized in this manner. For organizing the innovative Residential training programme to study the “International Taxation Issues” Honourable President and his team deserves to be appreciated.

I must say that the training programme like this

a) Helps to deliver better administration of justice.
b) The training increases the confidence and authority level of Judges.
c) It enhances judicial approach.
d) It helps to remove the potential inconsistencies and complicit in judicial decisions.
e) Legal literacy helps the officers in acquainting themselves with the changes in law.
f) It helps to understand the grey areas where the existing laws needs modification or to interpret the laws in accordance with new international treaties and conventions.

3. Whenever a new issue comes for hearing before the Court, even the Judges ask whether there is any judgment of Tribunal on the said particular issue, no doubt it is not binding on court, still the Judges desire to read the judgment as it helps the court to understand the issue in a better perspective. Honourable Justice Dr. D.Y.Chandrachud last year while addressing the students of law colleges in Palkivala Memrorial Tax Moot Court competition, stated that Mr Palkivala practiced before the Tax Tribunal and there after became one of the greatest lawyer of our country. It is the tax Tribunal which had helped him to became one of the greatest lawyer of country. Because when you deal with tax law , you have to deal with 98 central Acts and various State Legislations.

4. India has double taxation with more than 68 countries. One of the subject which the Honourable members may consider is the Interpretation of DTAA, Conventions, applicability of OECD commentaries. DTAA cannot be interpreted as normal provision of the Act, because Treaties are drafted by diplomats, and not lawyers hence the Treaties cannot be interpreted like statute. In UOI v.Azadi Bachao Andolan (2003) 263 ITR 706(SC) the court has explained how to interpret the DTAA (P. 751to 753), Supreme Court in Gramophone Co. of India Ltd v. Birendra Bahadur Pandey, 1984(2) SCC 534 has distinguished between the International law and domestic law and explained how to interpret the DTAA provisions. Recent judgment in case of Ram Jethmalani v UOI (2011) 339 ITR 107(SC)(136) also explained the principle of Interpretation of DTAA.

5.Whenever an important issue to be decided by the bench, if assessee is not represented it may be worth considering by the bench request the Bar member to help the court as amicus curie. In High Court and in supreme court whenever they have to decide an important issue if it is not represented by the assessee Court ask the counsel to represent as amicus curies. This will help to laid down the correct interpretation of law.

Income tax Appellate Tribunal has contributed immensely for the development of International jurisprudence. Whenever an important issue on the cross border transaction is decided by the Tax Tribunal, it is discussed and debated at the International forums. World is looking up to the Contribution of tax Tribunal of India with great expectation. We have a great responsibility to deliver the good quality of Judgment on the issues relating the International taxation. Some of members of ITAT are well read on the subjects. For development of future tax bar we are making an effort and encouraging the young lawyers to study the International taxation.

6. Educational programmes like this, will be an ongoing process of learning, This will definitely help the mother institution to retain the glory as one of the finest institution of our country. When institution gets the appreciation from the people of India and International community, the persons who appear before the Institution also get the respect, we always feel proud that we are part of this institution.

7. I Sincerely thank the honorable President for giving me this opportunity. I on behalf of members of the ITAT Bar Association and on my behalf wish all the success and wish all the honourable members a very very Happy Independence Day in advance.

One comment on “ITAT Members’ Training Programme On Intl Tax & Transfer Pricing Inaugurated
  1. k srinivasan says:

    We WISH the programme a grand success.

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