ITAT Pays Homage To Late Shri Dinesh Vyas

A full court reference in honour of late Shri Dinesh Vyas Senior Advocate, was held on 9th February 2018.

Shri Vyas passed away on 23rd January 2018.

Speaking on the occasion, Hon’ble Shri G.D. Agarwal, President of the ITAT, highlighted the various achievements of late Shri Dinesh Vyas as an Advocate to preserve the independency of the Tribunal. The Hon’ble President also stated that the Govt. of India has honored Shri Vyas with ‘Rashtriya Sanman’ for being one of the highest tax payers of the Country in the professional category in the year 2000.

Dinesh Vyas with Nani Palkhiwala

Dinesh Vyas with Nani Palkhivala & M. R. Pai

Shri Y.P. Trivedi, Sr. Advocate and Past President of the ITAT Bar Association, Mumbai, stated that it is a great honour to him that late Shri Dinesh Vyas was his junior for more than five years. He also stated that he was a very hard working junior had great ambitions and dreamt big, which he achieved.

Mrs. Arati Visanji, President of the ITAT Bar Association Mumbai, stated that late Shri Dinesh Vyas had in depth knowledge of the Bhagwat Geeta and she had the fortune of attending the lecture given by him. She mentioned that all his fortunes and success, as late Shri Dinesh Vyas mentioned, has come because of the Bhagwat Geeta. She also explained that late Shri Dinesh Vyas was always concerned with the ITAT Bar and ITAT and believed in cordial relationships with Bar and the Bench.

Shri Jayant Kumar, Commissioner of Income tax (DR) on behalf of the Departmental Representatives, paid rich Tribute to late Shri Dinesh Vyas

The family members of late Shri Dinesh Vyas also attended the full court reference.

After the Tribute, the Hon’ble Members, members of the Bar and the departmental representatives observed one minute silence and prayed that the departed soul Rest in Peace.

(Shri Dinesh Vyas, Senior Advocate, opposes the National Tax Tribunal)

Speech Of Shri G.D. Agrawal, President, ITAT

Dinesh Vyas at his Farm

Dinesh Vyas at his Farm

Family members of Late Shri Dinesh Vyas – his wife Smt. Shakuntala Vyas, his son Shri Nandish, daughter- in- law Smt. Khyati, daughter Smt. Kunti and son-in-law Shri Ankit, President ITAT Bar Association – Ms. Aarti Vissanji, my colleague brothers, CIT-DRs, Senior DRs, office bearers and Members of Bar Association, Ladies and Gentlemen

We have assembled here today to give Full Court Reference to Shri Dinesh Vyas, Senior Advocate, Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, who left for his heavenly abode on 23rd January, 2018. I was shocked to hear the sad news of demise of Shri Vyas from Shri G.S. Pannu while I was on leave.

Initially, I could not believe it. I had met him during my last visit to Mumbai and he was very active in the Full Court Reference as well as in the high tea function of Brother Shri P.K. Bansal. He was a great person, always helpful and always the first one to stand up to situations. It is really sad and hard to believe that a person who won so many hearts is no longer with us today.

Shri Vyas was born on 29th July, 1945. He did his BA (Honours) LL.B and was enrolled as an Advocate in the year 1968. He was designated as Senior Advocate in the year 1994.

I have no hesitation in saying that Shri Vyas was one of the finest Advocates specialized in practice of taxation law, international law and legal aspects of foreign collaborations. He has appeared in numerous matters of national importance before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, various High Courts and ITAT. He has also appeared in several international legal disputes as an Expert.

He was the first Senior Advocate to receive ‘Rashtriya Samman’ (National Honour) conferred by the Government of India by the then Finance Minister, in his recognition for being one of the highest taxpayers during assessment years 1994-95 to 1998-99 under the category ‘Profession’. In recognition of his expertise in tax laws, the Government of India has assigned to him the task of drafting the Direct Taxes Code.

The Government has also appointed him on the Central Direct Taxes Advisory Committee headed by the Finance Minister. He has been a close associate of legendary Mr. N.A. Palkhivala from the inception of his practice and has assisted him in writing the book “The Law and Practice of Income-tax”.

He also taught Taxation Laws and International Laws for the Master of Law Degree at the Bombay University. He has participated as faculty/chairman in various conferences and seminars in India and abroad.

He has revised the book titled “The Law and Practice of Income Tax”, 9th Edition by Kanga, Palkhivala and Vyas in the year 2004. Apart from these, he has written several articles in various newspapers and journals.

Shri Vyas remained the President of ITAT Bar Association, Mumbai in the calendar years 2009 and 2010. My association with Shri Vyas goes back to the days when I was first posted as a Member at Mumbai Benches in the year 2000.

I have always found that Shri Vyas believed in doing quality matters which required extensive research and groundwork. In fact, his presentation in the Court was so pleasant that it used to be a treat to listen to him.

Although Shri Vyas has successfully appeared in numerous landmark decisions but, one outstanding appearance which will never be forgotten by the fraternity of ITAT is his appearance in the celebrated judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of ITAT Through President Vs. V.K. Agarwal – [1999] 235 ITR 175, where the independence and glory of ITAT has been affirmed.

Shri Vyas is no more amongst us but as Lord Krishna has said in Bhagwat Geeta, the soul of a person never dies. Shri Vyas will live forever and his memories will last long. We will always miss him.

It is an irreparable loss to his family, ITAT Bar and society in general.

With these words, I, on my own behalf and on behalf of the entire family of the ITAT, convey my deepest condolences to the members of his family and pray God to give them strength to bear this irreparable loss.

May God grant peace and solace to the departed soul.

Speech Of Shri Y.P. Trivedi, Past President, ITAT Bar Association

Shri G. D. Agarwal Hon’ble President I.T.A.T., other Hon’ble judges of the Tribunal, Members of Bar, the learned representatives of the Income -tax Department, the members of the family of Late Shri Dinesh Vyas and other friends.
Today we have assembled to mourn the sad and sudden demise of Shri Dinesh Vyas, one of the brightest stars in our legal firmament.

It is difficult for me to speak about Shri Dinesh Vyas, who was my junior, and a junior is like a family member.

I knew Dinesh since the time he was my student in LLM classes, where I was teaching as an Honorary Professor. I believe his future wife was also with him.

Later, my Senior Shri S.P. Mehta told me to take him as my junior and I could never say no to my senior.

He remained with me for about 4 to 5 years, assisted me in several important cases. I also deputed him to go to Nagpur to argue some cases independently.

During his tenure with me I found him painstakingly hard working and ruthlessly ambitious. He always dreamt big and was keen to attain it. He was deeply religious and started his day in office with prayer to his ઈષ્ટદેવતા and always had Bhagvat Gita on his table. He later delivered discourses on Gita to Chartered Accountants.

Later he started his own chamber at P.M. Road. I still remember that when I visited the office on inauguration, he vacated his chair and insisted that I occupy the chair at least for five minutes.

Later in his journey he never looked back. He handled some cases with Mr. B.A. Palkhiwala and later helped Shri Nani Palkhiwala in several matters.

He was a man completely devoted to his practice, worked assiduously on his cases with erudition. Very soon, he established a large practice and as a result, he was invited to edit the ninth edition of Kanga & Palkhiwala’s monumental work.

Earlier he has also prepared a draft direct tax code which unfortunately remained on govt’s shelf only. Because of his eminence, he was designated as a Senior Counsel.

I do not wish to narrate the number of illustrious cases in which he appeared because, they will be too many, but to my mind comes the famous case of ITAT v/s V.K. Agarwal 235 ITR page 175 in which he argued for the independence of Tribunal and the power of the President to constitute special benches, when necessary.

He was a standing Counsel for big corporates like Tata and many others.

His other achievements are very large and if I were to narrate them, it would take full one hour, but I may only mention that Lions Club International had conferred Millennium award to him, and that he was a much sought after speaker on Union Budget.

With his brilliance, he was destined to carve out a name for himself in legal firmment, but destiny planned differently and at a comparatively young age, he was snatched away from us. Ways of providence are inscrutable and as they say “Those whom god loves, they die young.”

May his soul rest in peace.

Speech Of Mrs. Arati Vissanji, President, ITAT Bar Association

Hon’ble President Shri G.D. Agarwal, Hon’ble Members of the ITAT, Mrs. Vyas and family, Dept. Representatives, Members of the Bar, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have assembled here today on this solemn occasion to pay tribute to our past President and a stalwart of the tax Bar. Exactly a month ago Mr. Dinesh Vyas or Dineshbhai as we know him was present here in this very Court Room at the function held on the retirement of Shri P.K. Bansal, Vice President. It is therefore difficult to believe that we will not see his smiling face in these corridors.

Dineshbhai started his career almost 49 years ago. He chose a field where he had to start from the last rung. His father’s practice area was rent law. It was sheer determination, hard work and perseverance coupled with his intellect and analytical mind that enabled him to scale the heights that he did.

In his early days as a tax lawyer his appearances were mainly in the High Court. As he has stated in his message in the 75th year publication of this Tribunal, over a period of time he was drawn more towards the Tribunal. He was a familiar presence seen holding discussions in the Library with his clients while he waited for his turn.

One could see his complete absorption with the case on hand. And after the hearing he was a changed person, relaxed and often expressive about matters relating to the Bar Association and this institution.

The Hon’ble President as well as our president have already talked about his manifold achievements and I do not propose to dwell upon them once again.

But there are some lesser known facets of Dineshbhai which I have learnt of from those who have worked with him closely and which give us a glimpse of the extent of dedication and hard work that he put in.

He used to master the facts of a matter by meticulously reading the assessment order several times over very often burning the midnight oil in his chamber.

He had the knack to identify an issue which would ordinarily escape our attention. He would then focus on that point and build his case around it successfully.

Tata Chemicals Ltd. 67 ITD 56 is one such case. It was a matter where the Assessing Officer who had passed the order was deputed by the Commissioner as well as the D.R. to represent the Dept. in the Tribunal. Dineshbhai strongly opposed the application. The hearing continued for almost 20 days and finally the Tribunal held that the authorization was not valid.

Another of his qualities that deserves mention is his speed and depth of analysis of the Finance Bill. I understand that he used to receive the Budget papers around 4.30 pm on the day the Finance Bill was introduced.

I refer to the times when downloads and soft copies were not available. His study and analysis were complete the next day around noon for his public speech at 5 pm., indeed a rare feat.

He held the office of President of the Bar Association in 2009 and 2010. I have learnt that as a general rule he was not in favour of holding any office and this was an exception. The reason is obvious. He was deeply attached to the Tribunal and protective of it.

In the last few months I noticed that he very strongly believed that a cordial working relationship between the Bar and the Bench was essential for the smooth functioning of the Tribunal.

However, he was of the firm opinion that a respectable distance needs to be maintained. During our meetings which he regularly attended despite his pre-occupation, he did not hesitate to express his views which were mostly influenced by his concern for the well-being of the Bar and the Tribunal.

At the personal level he was guided by the Gita. More than 2 decades ago I attended a lecture held by the BCA Society where Dineshbhai was one of the speakers. The subject was professional ethics. And I remember him holding a little frayed book in his hand and saying that it was the Gita to which he owed everything in life. The book which he held was the same Gita which he had been reading since childhood. He was attached to nature.

His weekend getaway was his farm house and he used to proudly tell us about the number of trees that he had planted there.

While his physical absence has left a void, the ineffaceable imprint which he has left behind in this profession will remain in days to come.

On behalf of the Bar and on my own behalf I convey our heartfelt condolences to his family. As the Gita says, the soul never dies. We pray that he finds peace wherever he may be.

Speech Of Shri Jayant Kumar, Cit (Dr) ITAT

Today we have assembled here to pay our respect to late Shri Dinesh Vyas, Senior Advocate of Supreme Court of India, who breathed his last on 23.01.2018.

Shri. Vyas will be remembered for his extensive contribution in the field of Taxation Law, International Law and legal aspect of foreign collaboration, for authoring two volumes of the famous book “Kanga Palkhivala & Vyas – The law and practice of Income Tax” and as former professor of taxation Laws and International Law for the LLM degree at the University of Bombay.

On this occasion, I, on my behalf as well as on behalf of all the CIT (DRs) and Jt. CIT (Sr. ARs) at ITAT Mumbai, extend our sympathy to the bereaved family members of Shri. Vyas.

May almighty God give immense strength to the bereaved family members and May the departed soul rest in peace.

Tribute by Dr. K. Shivaram, Senior Advocate

Shri Dinesh Vyas Sr. Advocate – One of the Gems of the Tax Bar – A Role model for young tax professionals to work hard and achieve excellence in tax litigation practice without compromising on the values and ethics in tax practice.

I had the fortune of long association with Late Shri Dinesh Vyas in the managing committee of the ITAT Bar Association for more than 25 years.

As a chairman of the ITAT Bar Association’s Co-ordination Committee of the Federation in the years 2003-2005, he has made objective suggestions for better administration of Justice before the Tribunal.

When the Chamber of tax Consultants honoured the highest tax payers of Mumbai in the year 1996, he was one of the tax professionals who was conferred with such an honour.

His vision about the tax laws and tax administration was published in the Journal of the Chamber (1996) August-P. 187. To reduce pendency in tax matters, he has stated that “National Court of Direct Taxes can help to a considerable extent, the reduction in pendency of Tax litigation”.

When Govt. of India has introduced National Tax Tribunal Bill in the year 2003, he was of the firm opinion that the Govt. was trying to interfere with the independence of the Judicial process and must be strongly objected.

He actively participated in the press meet organized by the Federation. (Reference Video)

His life history will be a role model to tax professionals in the years to come who desire to excel in tax litigation practice.

We all miss his presence in the library of the ITAT Bar Association and in the meetings of the magazine committee of the ITAT Bar Association.

Real Tribute to him will be remembering the message given by him on the occasion of platinum Jubilee of the ITAT, which reads as under:

“It is hoped that in the days ahead, the Tribunal grows in its stature in the Indian judicial system and renders quick and impartial justice to the parties before it, without fear or favor”.

His untimely death is a great loss to the tax profession, especially to the Members of the ITAT Bar Association, Mumbai.

May his soul rest in eternal peace and may god grant his family the strength to bear his loss.

Dr. K. Shivaram Sr. Advocate
Date : 9-2-2018

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