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Clarification regarding waiver of interest claimed on the basis of Press Note dated 21-5-1996

1. The Board by an order [ vide F.No. 400/234/95-IT(B)] dated 23-5-1996, indicated the class of income or class of cases in which reduction or waiver of interest under section 234A, B & C would be considered by the Chief Commissioner of Income-tax and Director General of Income-tax. Prior to the issue of the order a Press Note was released on 21-5-1996 with a view to give wide publicity to the major step contemplated by the Board towards mitigating hardship in genuine cases.

2. However, the instances have come to the notice of the Board where certain claims have been made on the basis of para 2(v) of the Press Note seeking waiver of interest for non-payment of advance-tax. Para 2(e) of order dated 23-5-1996 contains no such stipulation. It is hereby clarified the making any claim for waiver of interest based on the Press Note dated 21-5-1996 is not sustainable. A Press Note is basically intended to give a broad idea in advance to the public at large regarding a policy/step under formulation. To treat a Press Note as a final legal docu­ment and to make any claim on the basis of it as against the contents of the final document is not maintainable.

3. The Board hereby reiterates that all requests for waiver of interest are to be considered by the Chief Commissioner of In­come-tax and the Director General of Income-tax within the param­eters laid down by Board’s order dated 23-5-1996 read with the order dated 30-1-1997.

Circular : No. 783, dated 18-11-1999.

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June 2024