Case Law Details

Case Name : Siddharth Mehta Vs.Union Of India And Anr (Supreme Court)
Appeal Number : Writ Petition (Civil) No. 1013/2016
Date of Judgement/Order : 16/12/2016
Related Assessment Year :

The present writ petition is preferred under Article 32 of the Constitution of India with the following prayers:-

“Pass an appropriate Writ, Order or Direction, in the nature of Certiorari, inter-alia, quashing/setting aside penalty, surcharge and also provisions for lock-in/withholding of 25% of disclosed income for 4 years under the Taxation Laws  (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016, (Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna, 2016), i.e. Section 199D(2), 199E and 199F of the Finance Act, 2016, by declaring them illegal and null and void;

Pass an appropriate Writ, order or direction, in the nature of Mandamus, inter-alia, directing the respondent Nos.1 and 2 to charge income tax to citizens on their undisclosed income without their being levy of any sort of penalty and surcharge, provision for withholding of income, as prescribed under the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016, (Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna, 2016) and also direct the respondent Nos.1 and 2 to declare that half the proceeds be used to compensate the honest taxpayer by way of tax credit;

Pass any other appropriate Writ, order or direction, which may be necessary and proper in the opinion of this Hon’ble Court in the interest of justice and in the interest of the public at large.”

It is submitted by Mr. Dhruv Kapur, learned counsel for the petitioner that the Union of India could have come with a better scheme regard being had to the Statement of Objects and Reasons behind the scheme. He has commended us to paragraph 3 of the same. It reads as under:-

“In the wake of declaring specified bank notes as not legal tender, there have been representations and suggestions from experts that instead of allowing people to find illegal ways of converting their black money into black again, the Government should give them an opportunity to pay taxes with heavy penalty and allow them to come clean so that not only the Government gets additional revenue for undertaking activities for the welfare of the poor but also the remaining part of the declared income legitimately comes into the formal economy. Thus, money coming from additional revenue as a result of the decision to ban Rs.1000 and Rs.500 notes can be utilised for welfare schemes for the poor.”

We have patiently heard Mr. Kapur and also Mr. Siddharth Mehta, the petitioner appearing in-person. It is urged by Mr. Kapur that had a different kind of scheme been framed, the country would have got more good money in banks and the honest tax payers would have deposited the amount.

Appreciating the submission of Mr. Kapur, we are disposed to think that he is suggesting a different scheme to be implemented by the Union of India. Needless to say, this Court cannot enter into or encroach upon the policy-making arena and suggest a different policy on the foundation that the policy framed by the Union of India could have been better. That is not within the domain of the Court. There is a distinction between assailment of the constitutional validity of a policy and conception of framing of a better policy.

In view of the aforesaid analysis, we do not find any justification to issue notice in the present writ petition and it is, accordingly, dismissed.

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