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No interest on delayed payment of interest u/s 244A on principal refund amount be allowed to the assessee

Only amount which an assessee aggrieved by delayed payment can legitimately claim under the statute is interest and that no other interest on such statutory interest is payable. CIT Vs. Indian Farmer Fertilizer Co-operative (Delhi High Court)

In Supreme Court in Sandvik Asia Ltd. V. CIT & Ors. (2006) 280 ITR 643, the Court admittedly was dealing with facts prior to the insertion of Section 244A. Therefore, it would be inappropriate for this Court to consider that judgment now as binding authority.

More importantly, Sandvik Asia Ltd. (supra) was explained by the larger Bench i.e. three Judge Bench decision in Gujarat Fluoro Chemicals (supra) where the Supreme Court categorically held that the only amount which an assessee aggrieved by delayed payment can legitimately claim under the statute is interest and that “no other interest on such statutory interest”is payable. This ruling, in the opinion of this Court, rendered by a larger Bench, would have to be followed as opposed to the ratio in HEG Ltd. (supra) where the Supreme Court had expressed a contrary opinion by indicating that the interest component towards the delayed payment of the tax refund would partake of the character of the amount of due under Section 244 A. In other words, HEG Ltd. seems to suggest that there would be dues on bar, refund and delayed interest. Clearly, that view has not been approved in Gujarat Fluoro Chemicals (supra). It was urged during the hearing that India Trade Promotion Organisation (supra) has become final since the evenues appeal was withdrawn. This Court is of the opinion that such detail notwithstanding, the law declared in Gujarat Fluoro Chemicals (supra) is binding and permits no deviation.

In the light of the above decision, it is held that the impugned order to the extent it directs payment of any sum over and above interest payable under Section 244A(1) to the assessee, cannot be upheld.

Categories: Income Tax

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