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Case Law Details

Case Name : Diana Gomez Vs CIT (Kerala High Court)
Appeal Number : WA No. 375 of 2024
Date of Judgement/Order : 14/03/2024
Related Assessment Year :

Diana Gomez Vs CIT (Kerala High Court)

The case of Diana Gomez vs. CIT before the Kerala High Court revolves around the imposition of a condition requiring the remittance of 15% of the total income tax demand for the grant of stay. Diana Gomez, the appellant, challenged this condition in a writ appeal (WP) after a learned Single Judge imposed it despite granting a stay on recovery proceedings.

Diana Gomez, aggrieved by the judgment in the writ petition, appealed to the Kerala High Court. The appellant had preferred an appeal and stay petition before the Appellate Authority against the order (Ext.P1) confirming amounts due. While the Single Judge granted stay on recovery proceedings, the appellant was directed to remit 15% of the total demand within a week, which she challenged in the appeal.

During the hearing, the court considered the arguments of both parties and found the condition to be arbitrary. Although the appellant was directed to seek remedy through statutory authority, the court deemed the imposition of the 15% remittance condition unjust. Thus, the court modified the judgment, setting aside the condition while upholding other directions.

In conclusion, the Kerala High Court’s decision in the case of Diana Gomez vs. CIT highlights the court’s stance on arbitrary conditions imposed during legal proceedings. By deeming the requirement to remit 15% of the total tax demand for the grant of stay as arbitrary, the court ensures fairness in the process. This judgment serves as a reminder of the importance of equitable treatment in legal matters and upholding principles of justice.

FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF KERALA HIGH COURT

The petitioner in WP(C).No. 42292 of 2023 is the appellant being aggrieved by the judgment dated 5.1.2024 in the Writ Petition. The brief facts necessary for disposal of this Writ Appeal are as follows:

2. The appellant had impugned Ext.P1 order before this Court in the writ petition when confronted with recovery steps for recovery of the amounts confirmed against it by the order. It was the case of the appellant that against Ext.P1 order, it has preferred an appeal along with an application to condone the delay and a stay petition before the 1st respondent, the Appellate Authority. In the meantime, coercive steps were taken for realisation of the demands. Therefore, the appellant preferred WP(C) No. 42292 of 2023 before this Court. The learned Single Judge disposed of the writ petition with a direction to the 1st respondent to consider and pass appropriate orders on the application for condoning the delay as well as the stay petition within a period of two months. Even though the learned Single Judge, granted stay of recovery proceedings, the petitioner/appellant was directed to remit 15% of the total demand as per Ext.P1 assessment order within a period of one week as a condition for the stay which is under challenge in this appeal.

3. We have heard Sri. Gokul Babu S., the learned counsel for the appellant and Sri. P.G. Jayasankar, the learned Standing counsel for the Income Tax Department.

4. The learned Single Judge had relegated the appellant to the alternative remedy before the statutory authority and stay of the recovery proceedings was granted. We feel that the condition imposed to remit 15% of the total demand for grant of stay is arbitrary. Accordingly, we modify the impugned judgment of the learned Single Judge setting aside the condition imposed to remit 15% of the total demand. Save for this limited modification, the rest of the directions in the impugned judgment are not interfered with.

The writ appeal is disposed of as above.

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