Case Law Details

Case Name : The Dehradun Chartered Accountants Society Vs. Union of India (High Court of Uttarakhand at Nainital)
Appeal Number : Writ Petition (PIL) NO. 09 of 2021
Date of Judgement/Order : 15/01/2021
Related Assessment Year :

The Dehradun Chartered Accountants Society Vs. Union of India (High Court of Uttarakhand at Nainital)

High Court held that Admittedly, the country continues to suffer and to reel under the COVID-19 pandemic. A large number of assesses still find it difficult to even meet their Chartered Accountants and to file their Income Tax Audit Reports and the Income Tax Returns. Therefore, this Court permits the petitioner to submit  a fresh representation, voicing all their grievances, with regard to the consequences which would flow from different provisions of the Act. The CBDT is directed to leniently consider the said representation after giving an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner and to pass a reasoned order thereupon.

FULL TEXT OF THE HIGH COURT JUDGMENT

1. The Dehradun Chartered Accountants Society, the petitioner, has filed this Public Interest Litigation (PIL) with the following prayer:-

“(i) Issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus, directing the respondent no.1 and/or 2 to extend the due date of filing the Tax Audit Report and Income Tax Return for the assessment year 2020-21 2021-21, both for tax audit assessee and  for non-tax audit assessee for a reasonable time, atleast till March 31, 2021”.

2. According to Mr. Piyush Garg, the learned counsel for the petitioner, due to nationwide COVID-19 pandemic, the income tax assessees have  not  been able to file their Income Tax Return on the dates specified by the Government. Keeping in mind the hardship being faced by the income tax assessees, repeatedly, the Government had extended the dates for filing the Income Tax Return by the assessee. However, presently, the dates specified by the Government are 10.01.2021 for the non-tax assesses, and 15.01.2021 for filing the Tax Audit Reports to the tax assessed, and 15.02.2021 for filing the  Income Tax Return. Moreover, despite the fact that the Chartered Accountants Society of Uttarakhand  and  the other Chartered Accountants  Societies,  throughout the country, have filed representations before the respondents, the respondents have, so far, not agreed to extend the date for filing the Income  Tax Return. Hence, the present petition before this Court.

3. On the other hand, Mr. Hari Mohan Bhatia, the learned counsel for the respondent no.2, the Revenue, submits that an identical issue has been raised before the Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat at Ahmedabad in R/Special Civil Application No.13653 of 2020. Even in that case, representations were filed; the issue was whether the Court could issue a mandamus to the respondents for extension of the date or not? By order dated 13.01.2021, a learned Division Bench of the Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat has dismissed the R/Special Civil  Application No.13653 of 2020. Therefore, even the present case  is covered by the said decision of the Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat.

4. In rejoinder, Mr. Piyush Garg, the learned counsel for the petitioner, submits that in the  last para of the said judgment, the Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat has directed the Central Board of Direct Taxes (‘the CBDT’ for short) “to consider issuing an appropriate circular taking a lenient view as regards the consequences of late filing of the Tax Audit  Reports as provided under Section 271B of the  Income Tax Act (‘the Act’ for short)”. Moreover, the learned counsel for the petitioner submits that, while the said judgment is limited only to the consequences which would flow from Section 271B of the Act, there are other provisions which equally have consequences flowing in case the Income Tax Returns are not  filed on time and, in case, the required steps are not taken by the Income Tax Assessee. Therefore, he prays that this Court should pass a similar order directing the CBDT to issue an appropriate circular while taking into account the said provisions of the Act. Thus, he seeks an opportunity to file a fresh representation before the CBDT, and prays that the CBDT should be directed to consider the fresh representation, wherein the grievances of the petitioner would be voiced.

5. Admittedly, the country continues to suffer and to reel under the COVID-19 pandemic. A large number of assesses still find it difficult to even meet their Chartered Accountants and to file their Income Tax Audit Reports and the Income Tax Returns. Therefore, this Court permits the petitioner to submit  a fresh representation, voicing all their grievances, with regard to the consequences which would flow from different provisions of the Act. The CBDT is directed to leniently consider the said representation after giving an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner and to pass a reasoned order thereupon.

6. With the above observations, the petition stands disposed of.

7. Let a certified copy of this order be issued  to the learned counsel for the parties, today itself, on payment of the prescribed charges.

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6 Comments

  1. Harshad Zaverchand shah says:

    professionals are working at cost of their Health, extension was given for fy 2018-19 till 30th November 2020, which was not requested and required while for fy 2019-20 it is required , which is not. something cannot be understood

  2. vswami says:

    OFFhand

    As is common knowledge the CBDT ( FM ) has a few days ago already taken a firm and final decision not to grant anymore extension; and some other HC(s) has (-ve)) taking a due note of it, in its wisdom, refused to interfere in the matter. Premised so, and in view thereof, the effect of the judicial view / direction of the Jharkand HC / how the Govt., is expected to give the matter any favourable rethinking is left to anyone’s guess < ?
    For MORE refer the posted comment wrt the mentioned earlier decision.
    OVER to Tax pundits well versed in PIL for different thoughts if any !

  3. Ramesh Kumar Thakur says:

    It’s Modi Government, we should know what is the value of Judiciary and Large representation before the King of Dynasty

    I am sorry to say above but in my opinion This is completely right

  4. vswami says:

    “FULL TEXT OF THE HIGH COURT JUDGMENT

    1. The Dehradun Chartered Accountants Society, the petitioner, has filed this Public Interest Litigation (PIL) with the following prayer:-

    “(i) Issue a writ, order or direction ….in the nature of mandamus, directing the respondent no.1 and/or 2 to extend the due date of filing the Tax Audit Report and Income Tax Return for the assessment year 2021-21, …….for a reasonable time, atleast till March 31, 2021”.

    “2021-21″< is the fatal slip / mistake not showing ?!?

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