Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: N. Nagaresh, J. disposed of the writ petition seeking to consider and dispose of appeals by the appellant prior to coercive action by the Income Tax authorities.

In the present case, the petitioner-Bank, being a Service Co-operative Bank registered under the Kerala Co-operative Societies Act, 1969 were issued with income tax assessment orders for the years 2009-2010, 2010-11, 2016-17 and 2015-16. The petitioner bank had filed an appeal being aggrieved by the assessment orders. During the pendency of the appeals, the Income-tax Officer had issued notices under Section 221(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 seeking recovery of the amount.

Sri O.D. Sivadas counsel representing the petitioner-Bank, by placing reliance on the judgments passed by the present High Court, submitted that the appellate authority should consider the appeals preferred by the Banks on a priority basis and until the final disposition of the case, any coercive action shall be avoided. The counsel relied on Mavilayi Service Co-operative bank Ltd. v. Income Tax Officer, 2013 SCC OnLine Ker 838 wherein it directed that the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) consider and dispose of statutory appeals filed by the appellant therein at the earliest.

High Court upon hearing the pleadings of the petitioner decided on disposing of the present case in a similar manner. Hence, the court directed that the further steps of coercive action shall not be resorted to against the petitioner.[Annamanada Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. v CIT, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 3011 , decided on 17-09-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: A Single judge bench comprising of Anubha Rawat Choudhury, J. while dealing with a civil writ petition directed the State to follow principles of natural justice in proceedings for issuance of distress warrant against the petitioner.

Brief factual matrix of the matter was that in pursuance of a certificate case filed against the petitioner for recovery of a certain amount of money, the Certificate Officer issued a distress warrant against him without deciding the objection petition filed by the petitioner under Section 9 of the Bihar and Orissa Public Demands Recovery Act, 1914 and also without considering the explanation submitted by the petitioner. Aggrieved by the aforesaid, instant writ petition was filed by the petitioner praying for quashing of the entire proceeding in certificate case filed against him. The primary contention of the petitioner was that the said action of Certificate Officer was in total disregard to the provisions of Bihar and Orissa Public Demands Recovery Act, 1914 and was also a gross violation of principles of natural justice and fair play.

The court noted that as per the provisions of Bihar and Orissa Public Demands Recovery Act, upon issuance of notice in the certificate proceedings, the certificate-debtor has a right to file an objection under Section 9 of the said Act and the same is required to be disposed of by the Certificate Officer. It was observed that failure to follow the procedure prescribed in the statute was an arbitrary action and gross violation of the principles of natural justice. Therefore, the said action also impinged upon the petitioner’s fundamental right under Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

On the strength of aforesaid reasoning, the impugned order vide which distress warrant was issued against the petitioner was set aside with a direction to the Certificate Officer to hear the petitioner, consider his objection and pass a reasoned order within a period of one month thereafter. [Bhupender Singh v State of Jharkhand,2018 SCC OnLine Jhar 1233, decided on 27-09-2018]