SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Director of Income-tax, International Taxation, Mumbai
CITI Bank N.A.
S.L.P. (C) NOs. 19986 & 20007 OF 2011
SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
1. For the reasons given in the Orders passed by this Court on 2nd July, 2012, and 13th August, 2012, on account of huge delay in filing the special leave petitions as also in filing the appeal before the High Court, we had asked the Department to file an affidavit explaining the delay in filing the above proceedings. The affidavit has been filed. It is reiteration of the same affidavit which has been filed earlier in the High Court and the Supreme Court. Further, the affidavit has not been filed by the concerned officer. The amount involved in this matter is approximately Rupees ninety crores. Since the affidavit in this Court pursuant to our Orders, as above, is not satisfactory, we want to know from the learned Additional Solicitor General as to whether the Department intends to hold a departmental inquiry for the above delay.
2. In large number of cases, we find a peculiar phenomenon. In cases, where huge revenue/demand from the Department is involved, invariably, there is inordinate delay in filing appeals before the High Court under Section 260A of the Income Tax Act, 1961, and in filing special leave petitions before this Court. We do not know the reason why such inordinate delays take place only in matters of stakes. This aspect needs to be looked into. This aspect has been brought to the notice of the learned Attorney General as well as the Ministry of Law in the past. This is one such case. Even in the past, this Court has raised a similar query. Moreover, once a matter is dismissed on the ground of delay, it has a ricocheting effect.
3. In the above circumstances, we direct the Registry to forward a copy of this Order to the Hon’ble Finance Minister and Hon’ble Law Minister for doing the needful at the departmental level so that such cases of revenue leakages do not recur.
4. Place these matters on 17th September, 2012, in order to enable learned Additional Solicitor General to make a statement in this regard.