The Supreme Court (SC) stated last week that courts should not dismiss petitions of revenue authorities only on the ground of delay, without going into the merits of the case. In this case, the Commissioner of Income Tax appealed to the SC against the order of the Calcutta high court which dismissed its petition because the revenue authorities came beyond the time limit set by the Limitation Act. The high court did not examine the pleas of the tax authorities in the case involving a company, West Bengal Infrastructure Development Corporation.

The amount claimed against the corporation was Rs 4 crore. The order of the SC, passed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia, asked the high court to reconsider the case by hearing and deciding the contention of the tax authorities. The court was taking strict action recently against delayed appeals by revenue authorities, but in tax cases, it might be beneficial to the companies as the merits would be forgotten. Therefore the courts are advised to use their discretion wisely to deal with delayed appeals.

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