Tax Bar To File Writ Against Non-Removal Of Alleged ‘Corrupt’ ITAT Member

The Rajasthan Tax Consultants Association and the Jaipur Tax Tribunal Bar have resolved to file a Writ Petition in the Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court to challenge the alleged inaction by the Government and the Hon’ble President of the ITAT against the alleged corrupt practices of the Hon’ble Accountant Member Shri. B. R. Jain, presently posted at the Jaipur Bench of the Tribunal.

It has been alleged that similar allegations against the said Member have been made earlier as well during his postings at Jodhpur, Lucknow, Agra etc but that on each occasion he has been “protected” by certain vested interests and that no inquiry was conducted into the allegations of corruption. It is also claimed that when senior members of the Bar met the said Member and requested him to conduct matters in a judicial manner, he became “more agitated and rude in his behavior and decided to unsettle the settled issues where his demand was not met and openly encouraged corruption and indulged in corruption”. It is also claimed that several representations and meetings with the Hon’ble President of the Tribunal have not met with any success and that the prestige of the Tribunal is now at risk.

It may be recalled that the said two Bar Associations had on an earlier occasion resolved to boycott the Jaipur Bench till the Hon’ble B. R. Jain remained posted there.

It may also be recalled that the Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court has recently passed severe strictures against the Jaipur Bench of the Tribunal in CIT vs. Ram Singh.

The said two Bar Associations have also decided to challenge the inaction of the Government in not appointing a permanent President of the Tribunal. It has been pointed out this is the first time in the glorious history of the ITAT that it has remained without a permanent President for such a long period of time. It is stated that the non-appointment of a permanent President has paralyzed the affairs of the Tribunal because the officiating President is unable to take bold decisions (such as strict action against alleged corrupt Members), which are necessary for the independence of the Tribunal.

It may be noted that on the issue of alleged corruption, the ITAT Bar Association, Mumbai, has adopted a Zero-Tolerance policy as is brought by its resolution1 and resolution2. The Bar has also sought a judicial probe into the allegations. Further, the Bar has also constituted an Anonymous Complaints’ Enquiry Committee, comprising of eminent professionals, to look into charges of corruption.

On the issue of appointment of a permanent President of the Tribunal, the ITAT Bar Association, Mumbai, has been relentlessly following up the matter with the Government as is borne out by the representations dated 18.3.2011, 23.04.2012, 03.07.2013 and 14.04.2014. The AIFTP has also taken up the matter vide representation dated 18.03.2011. The ITAT Bar Association has also publicly raised the issue with articles such as Dear Govt, Will You Act To Save ITAT Only After High Court Reprimands You?, Dear Law Minister, Please Spare A Moment For The Welfare Of The Tribunal, Crores Of Revenue Locked Up In Litigation But No Money For ITAT Working? and Wanted Urgently: President For The Tribunal.

Unfortunately, none of these entreaties have had any impact on the decision makers so far. It remains to be seen whether the Writ Petition in the Hon’ble Rajasthan High Court will change the position in a positive way.

3 comments on “Tax Bar To File Writ Against Non-Removal Of Alleged ‘Corrupt’ ITAT Member
  1. A.P.SHRIVASTAVA says:

    If allegations have base, move writ of quo warranto

  2. S S Gupta says:

    Transfer in complaint cases is far. Even where Members have completed 6 years, and in clear contempt of Suprreme Court directionss, transfer orders not passed. Still, this Acting President will select the future Members of ITAT from Friday.

  3. congrats bar associations of tribunals; you need to fight out the rot and weed out the rot proper surgical operations so that assesses can have any trust on tribunals, else no appeals would be filed before esteemed tribunals and all matters may ed up at high courts; that way high court loads may increase resulting in enormousness delays; that could mean justice delayed will be equal to justice denied situation; that means we need to abrogate very administrative tribunals Act 1985 that might mean actual judicial review of the relevant constitutional amendment that created the said Act; will it not question the very constitutional arrangements unless parliament itself suo motu take on government in place; it may result more chaos in the country if parliament fails, why because voters may hesitate to vote in a government resulting in more NOTAs on ballot boxes which means more and more elections might end up with bankruptcy of very governance, might pave a way for some Oliver Cromwell type restoration that took place in then Britain, do we need let law ministry ponder over!

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