This tip strives to give clarity on which tense shall be used while discussing the law, Legal Precedents and the facts of the case.
Let us take an example of a transaction which was held as bogus by the Assessing Officer and against which the assessee is in appeal.
1. Use the Present tense for the facts of the Case that exist in the present.
a) The loan is still outstanding/payable. (This is the current position)
2. Use the past tense for the facts of the case that have already happened.
a) The assessee had borrowed an unsecured loan. (Transaction took place in the past).
b) During the assessment proceedings, the AO had asked the assessee to prove the genuineness of the transaction.(AO had done this in the past).
c) The assessee had furnished various documents to prove the genuineness of the transaction.(Assessee had done this in the past).
3. Use the present tense to discuss the rule of law.
The rule of law always exists in present therefore present tense shall be used.
a) Suspicion however strong, cannot take the place of evidence.
b) The onus to prove that the apparent is not real is on the party who claims it to be so.
4. Use the Past tense to discuss the facts of a Precedent & the Court’s reasoning.
a) In DCIT vs. Rohini Builders. Repayment of loans & interest thereon was made through banking channels; TDS was also deducted. (Facts of the Legal Precedent which took place in the past.)
b) The court reasoned that the loans were received and repaid through banking channels. Interest was also paid on which TDS was also deducted; therefore the transaction cannot be held as bogus. (court reasoned in the past)
c) The court held that the departmental authorities were not justified in treating the loans as non-genuine.(court decided case in the past)
Conclusion: Use the present tense to describe facts or rules that exist currently and the past tense for facts or events that have already happened.
CA Milind Wadhwani | DISA (ICAI), FAFD (ICAI), Research (Ph.D.) Scholar | Mail ID: – MILIND.WADHWANI20@GMAIL.COM