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Case Law Details

Case Name : Koothery Narayanan Vijayan Vs Assessment Unit -Income Tax Department (Kerala High Court)
Appeal Number : WP(C) No. 8867 of 2024
Date of Judgement/Order : 12/03/2024
Related Assessment Year :

Koothery Narayanan Vijayan Vs Assessment Unit -Income Tax Department (Kerala High Court)

Introduction: In a recent case before the Kerala High Court, Koothery Narayanan Vijayan challenged an assessment order issued by the Income Tax Department for the assessment year 2018-2019. Vijayan filed an appeal and a stay application, seeking relief from the recovery proceedings initiated by the department. This article delves into the court’s decision and its implications.

Detailed Analysis: The petitioner, Koothery Narayanan Vijayan, contested the assessment order (Ext.P2) issued under the Income Tax Act, 1961. Alongside filing an appeal (Ext.P5), Vijayan submitted a stay application (Ext.P6) before the 4th respondent. The primary relief sought was to direct the 4th respondent to adjudicate on the stay petition and suspend recovery proceedings until a decision was reached.

During the proceedings, the Income Tax Department’s counsel highlighted a delay in filing the appeal, which was addressed by the court.

The Kerala High Court, after hearing arguments from both parties, disposed of the writ petition by directing the 4th respondent to evaluate and decide on the stay petition and the issue of condonation of delay. It mandated affording Vijayan an opportunity for a hearing. Until the 4th respondent reached a decision on these matters, any recovery proceedings pertaining to Ext.P2’s assessment order were ordered to be suspended. Notably, the court clarified that consideration of the stay petition’s merits would only proceed if the delay in filing the appeal was condoned.

Conclusion: The Kerala High Court’s directive in the case of Koothery Narayanan Vijayan Vs. Assessment Unit of the Income Tax Department underscores the significance of procedural fairness in tax matters. By instructing the suspension of recovery proceedings until the stay petition is adjudicated, the court ensures that Vijayan’s rights are protected pending a decision on the appeal. This ruling serves as a reminder of the judiciary’s role in balancing the interests of taxpayers and revenue authorities.

FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF KERALA HIGH COURT

Petitioner suffered Ext.P2 order of assessment under the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961 for the assessment year 2018-2019. Petitioner has preferred Ext.P5 appeal along with Ext.P6 application for stay before the 4th respondent. The only limited relief sought for by the petitioner is for a direction to the 4th respondent to consider and pass orders on Ext.P6 stay petition, after affording an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner, and to keep the recovery proceedings pursuant to Ext.P2 in abeyance till a decision is taken on the stay petition.

2. The learned Standing Counsel appearing for the Income Tax Department would point out that there is a delay in filing the appeal.

3. Having heard the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner and the learned Standing Counsel appearing for the Department, this writ petition stands disposed of directing the 4th respondent to consider and pass orders on Ext.P6 stay petition and on the issue of condonation of delay, after affording an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner. Till such time the orders are passed by the 4th respondent on the applications as above, any proceedings for recovery of amount due in terms of Ext.P2 order of assessment shall be kept in abeyance. It is made clear that the 4th respondent need to pass orders on the stay petition, on merits, only if he decides to condone the delay in filing the appeal.

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