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WASTAGE OF TIME OF JUDICIARY AND PUBLIC MONEY -WHY A TEAM OF SO MANY COUNSELS JUST TO WITHDRAW APPEAL AND ALSO ON UNNECESSARY LITIGATION BY REVENUE

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WASTAGE OF TIME OF JUDICIARY AND PUBLIC MONEY -WHY A TEAM OF SO MANY COUNSELS JUST TO WITHDRAW APPEAL AND ALSO ON UNNECESSARY LITIGATION BY REVENUE
By: DEV KUMAR KOTHARI
September 15, 2021
All Articles by: DEV KUMAR KOTHARI       View Profile
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WASTAGE OF TIME OF JUDICIARY AND PUBLIC MONEY -WHY A TEAM OF SO MANY COUNSELS JUST TO WITHDRAW APPEAL AND ALSO ON UNNECESSARY LITIGATION BY REVENUE

Matter before the Supreme Court and  some of connected cases:

2020 (7) TMI 224 - SC ORDER COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX VERSUS WEIZMANN LTD. SLP Appeal (C) No. (S). 19411 Of 2017  Dated: - 06 January 2020

2016 (12) TMI 1828 - BOMBAY HIGH COURT  COMMISSIONER OF INCOME-TAX VERSUS WEIZMANN LTD. IT Appeal No. 1405 Of 2014  Dated: - 09 December 2016

2014 (2) TMI 1264 - ITAT MUMBAI  ADDL. CIT 1 (3) VERSUS M/S WEIZMANN. LTD. ITA No.6008/Mum/2012  Dated: - 12 February 2014

2014 (7) TMI 1328 - BOMBAY HIGH COURT  THE COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX VERSUS M/S WEIZMANN LIMITED Income Tax Appeal No.1222 Of 2013 With Income Tax Appeal No.370 Of 2012 Dated: - 09 July 2014

Valuable time of judiciary can be saved if appeal is to be withdrawn:

In terms of money:

Time of  judiciary is very valuable in terms of public money spent on salaries, allowances, and perquisites provided to judges, tribunal members, appellate authorities and also  to officers, counsels and representatives of government departments.

Therefore, there must be a bit care to save public money by avoiding   un-necessary litigation by governments and its departments.

In terms of timely and qualitative preparation and judgments:

It is also very valuable for the society at large, to save time of all concerned so that more time can be devoted to important and qualitative litigation  and work where litigation is avoidable. When appeals are filed un-necessarily and without merits, lot of time and public money is wasted.

Un-necessary litigations and delaying practices are main reasons for long pendency of cases. If these can be avoided, then number of cases will be reduced. However, due to vested interest of many professionals and litigants litigation is long drawn process.

This also causes delay in justice.

Filing of appeal though with low tax effect and not withdrawing appeals though low tax effect caused lot of wastage of time of judiciary and all concerned.

Government many times decide for not to file appeals and withdraw appeals when tax effect is low. However, it seems that such decisions are also not acted promptly and are disregarded and therefore applications for\r withdrawal are not made and new appeals are also filed. This leads to un-necessary wastage of time of judiciary.

Author recall that when such Circulars are issued, many benches of Tribunal framed a task force to identify such appeals of revenue with low tax effect and fixes  large number of cases and dismiss appeals in a short span of time. This cleared lot of back logs. However, this good practice adopted by Tribunals appears has not been practiced vigorously in High Courts and The Supreme Courts.

 Matters before the Supreme Court:

It seems that even before the Supreme Court, un-necessary appeal are filed and pursued vigorously by a large tem of counsels. Even for withdrawal of appeals large number of counsels are engaged. For example the case of    COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX VERSUS WEIZMANN LTD (supra.) which  concerned  merely with withdrawal of appeal by revenue for low tax effect. In this case following counsels appeared:

For appellant revenue:

  1. Vikramjit Banerjee, ASG
  2.  Arijit Prasad, Sr. Adv.
  3.  Syed Abdul Haseeb, Adv. And
  4.  Mrs. Anil Katiyar, AOR for the Petitioner.

And for respondents:

Rashmikumar Manilal Vithlani.

Order of the honorable Supreme Court:

ORDER

1. Learned counsel for the petitioner, on instructions, issued by the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance vide F. No. 390/Misc./116/2017-JC dated 22-8-2019, seeks permission to withdraw this Special Leave Petition along with pending applications therein due to low tax effect.

2. Permission granted, subject to just exceptions.

3. The special leave petition and pending applications dismissed as withdrawn, leaving question of law open.

Views of author:

In such cases, the petitioner could file a petition for withdrawal of appeals and then appeal could be disposed of as dismissed as withdrawn even without notice to respondents, because respondent will get justice and relief sitting comfortably at his home  or office. 

 Even the respondent could have made a petition pointing out the fact of low tax effect and could pray  to dismiss the appeal of appellant / revenue.

The honorable Supreme Court Could have dismissed appeal if no objection was raised against petition of respondent.

Instead of that, revenue had engaged four counsel to represent even for withdrawal of appeal.  It may be that being afraid of stand being taken by appellant, respondent had also to engage senior counsel.

By this way lot of time and money could be saved instead of   mere wastage of human resources and intellectual.

In case of need, honorable Supreme Court and various High Courts can amend Rules so as to identify  cases liable to be dismissed for low tax effect  and also covered matters after reviewing case status which can be updated from time to time. This can provide summary proceeding for dismissal of such appeals.

National interest should be first:

Unfortunately the business of un-necessary litigations adopted  by many and profession of managing litigation is most rewarding.  This is causing brain drain of intellectuals in over country and in  many other countries also. This is evident that the fees commanded by  senior legal experts is the highest. Even at junior levels we find that fees commanded by legal professional is higher than a doctor or engineer or scientist of similar caliber.  A senior  legal counsel may command  fees of few lakhs and in some cases millions per hour for handling matter because litigating     is hopeful that retaining a senior/ costly counsel can win in otherwise a weak case. Can you find any case of doctor or engineer commanding similar fees? Author had not come across any other professional charging such huge fees. With huge fees, greed also increases, that’s why we find a team of several advocates when a single person can handle the entire matter and in any case withdraw an appeal in low tax effect case , perhaps even without appearing as discussed in this write-up.

 

By: DEV KUMAR KOTHARI - September 15, 2021

 

 

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