The case of CIT Vs L.G. Electronics Inc. Korea involves the Indian tax authorities (CIT) and the Korean company, L.G. Electronics. The key concern of the appeal was the delay in re-filing the appeal by the appellant and the argument about the maintainability of the appeal against the Tribunal’s order. This order was initially passed to stay the recovery of outstanding demands for the Assessment Years (AY) 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.
The appellant sought the condonation of a 60-day delay in re-filing the appeal. The respondent, represented by Mr. Deepak Chopra, did not oppose the plea, leading the court to condone the delay. However, a primary objection was raised concerning the appeal’s maintainability under Section 260A of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The respondent argued that the appellant should have filed a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution if aggrieved.
This objection was supported by citing a previous court decision (Lachman Dass Bhatia Vs. Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax). Although the Full Bench in the previous case concluded that no appeal would lie, it allowed conversion of the appeals into writ actions, given the right application is filed.
Following this objection, the appellant agreed to file a writ petition instead of an application for conversion, to which the court granted leave. The court consequently granted the appellant/revenue liberty to file a writ petition and disposed of the appeal.
Conclusion: The Delhi High Court’s judgment on CIT Vs L.G. Electronics Inc. Korea highlights the significance of adhering to legal procedure and constitutional provisions in taxation matters. It further reinforces the importance of timely filing appeals and the right course of action in cases of dissatisfaction with tribunal orders. This case underscores the court’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of legal proceedings and processes.
FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF DELHI HIGH COURT
CM APPL. 33068/2023
1. Allowed, subject to all just exceptions.
CM APPL. 33069/2023 [Application filed on behalf of the appellant seeking condonation of delay of 60 days in re-filing the appeal]
2. This is an application moved on behalf of the appellant/revenue seeking condonation of delay in re-filing the appeal.
2.1 According to the appellant/revenue, there is a delay of 60 days.
3. Mr Deepak Chopra, who appears on behalf of the respondent, says that he does not oppose the prayer made in the application.
4. Accordingly, the delay is condoned.
5. The application is disposed of.
6. This appeal is directed against the order dated 31.10.2022 passed by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (in short, the “Tribunal”) in Miscellaneous Application No. 278/DEL/2022. The record shows that the said application was directed against order dated 20.05.2022 passed by the Tribunal.
7. Via the order dated 20.05.2022, the Tribunal, it appears, had extended the stay on recovery of outstanding demands concerning Assessment Years (AY) 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.
7.1 Mr Sanjay Kumar, Senior Standing Counsel, who appears on behalf of the appellant/revenue, informs us that the instant appeal is confined to AY 2017-18. Counsel for the parties also inform us that initially, stay was granted by the Tribunal, albeit via order dated 13.03 .2020.
8. Mr Chopra raises a preliminary objection to the maintainability of the appeal. He says that no appeal under Section 260A of the Income Tax Act, 1961 [in short, „the Act‟] would lie against the impugned order, which as noticed above, was passed in the miscellaneous application moved by the appellant/revenue. Mr Chopra says that, if the appellant/revenue is aggrieved, its remedy, if at all, would be by way of a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution.
8.1 In support of his plea, Mr Chopra places reliance on the decision of this Court dated 06.08.2010, rendered in a bunch of appeals, including ITA 724/2010 titled Lachman Dass Bhatia Vs. Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax.
9. We may note that although the Full Bench concluded that no appeal would lie, it permitted conversion of the appeals into writ actions, upon a proper application being filed and compliance being made of the relevant rules made in that behalf.
10. At this juncture, Mr Kumar says that instead of filing an application for conversion, a writ petition would be filed. Leave in that behalf is granted.
11. Liberty is granted to the appellant/revenue to file a writ petition.
11.1 The appeal is disposed of, in the aforesaid terms.
12. Parties will act based on the digitally signed copy of the order.