Introduction: The Kerala High Court recently dealt with the case of SB College Staff Co-Operative Society Limited vs. CIT, in which the petitioner sought the court’s intervention in the appeal process against an assessment order under the Income Tax Act. The petitioner requested that the appellate authority reconsider their appeal and refrain from taking coercive actions until a decision is made.
Detailed Analysis: The petitioner had filed an appeal (Ext.P3) against the assessment order (Ext.P1) and had also submitted a petition for interim stay (Ext.P4). These matters were pending before the appellate authority, the first respondent.
The Kerala High Court directed the appellate authority to expedite the process of deciding the appeal, with a preference for a resolution within two months. If, for any reason, the appellate authority could not make a final decision within this period, the court instructed them to at least decide on the petition for interim relief or stay during the same two-month timeframe.
The court’s decision was based on the fact that the appeal process was already underway and that recent legal precedents, such as the dictum from the Supreme Court in Mavilayi Service Co-operative Bank Ltd and the Kerala High Court’s ruling in Principal Commissioner of Income Tax vs. Peroorkada Service Co-operative Bank, highlighted the importance of timely consideration of appeals under the Income Tax Act.
Conclusion: The Kerala High Court’s directive in the case of SB College Staff Co-Operative Society Limited vs. CIT emphasizes the importance of a timely resolution of income tax appeals. The court’s decision reflects the principles laid down by recent legal precedents, ensuring that appeals are considered promptly and fairly in accordance with the law. This ruling serves to maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of the income tax appeal process.
FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF KERALA HIGH COURT
The present writ petition has been filed with the following reliefs:
“i) Issue a writ of mandamus or other appropriate writ, order or direction commanding the 1st respondent to reconsider Ext.P2 appeal on merit taking note of the dictum laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Mavilayi Service Co-operative Bank Ltd and Ors Vs. Commissioner of Income Tax and Another – 2021 (1) KHC 303 SC = 431 ITR 1 and also dictum laid down in Principal Commissioner of Income Tax Vs. Peroorkada Service Co-operative Bank  442 ITR 141 (Ker) and pass appropriate order in the appeal.
ii) Issue any appropriate writ, order or direction, restraining the respondents from taking coercive proceedings against the petitioner, in pursuance to Ext.P1 assessment till orders are passed in the appeal and stay petition pending before the 1st respondent.”
2. Appeal, Ext.P3, filed by the petitioner against the assessment order, Ext.P1, along with petition for interim stay, Ext.P4, are pending before the appellate authority, first respondent.
3. In view of the above, first respondent, appellate authority, is directed to decide the appeal expeditiously, preferably, within a period of two months, in accordance with law. If the first respondent, appellate authority, is unable to dispose of the appeal within the aforesaid period, at least, the petition for interim relief/stay shall be decided within the aforesaid period of two months, in accordance with law.
With the aforesaid directions, the present writ petition is finally disposed of. Pending interlocutory applications, if any, in the writ petition stand dismissed.