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2015 (10) TMI 25 - GUJARAT HIGH COURT

2015 (10) TMI 25 - GUJARAT HIGH COURT - [2015] 378 ITR 160 (Guj) - Electronically filing of income tax returns relevant for assessment year 2013-14 and onwards - non-extension of the date for filing the income tax returns - stand of the Board is that the period of seven weeks which is available to the petitioner and other assessees for filing online income tax returns, is sufficient and therefore, there is no reason for extending the due date for filing the income tax returns - Held that:- Claus .....

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ssees who are subject to tax audit under section 44AB of the Act who are affected by the non-extension of due date but assessees belonging to all the above categories who may not be subject to tax audit under section 44AB. The number of tax audits conducted by a Chartered Accountant may be limited to 60, but the total number of assessees that he deals with is not limited to 60, as a large number of assessees may belong to the categories which are not subject to tax audit under section 44AB of th .....

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given only seven weeks to file their tax returns. Therefore, laxity, if any, evidently is on the part of the authority which is responsible for the delay in making the utility for E-Filing the return being made available to the assessees. When the default lies at the end of the respondents, some grace could have been shown by the Board instead of taking a stand that such a trend may not be encouraged. Had it not been for the laxity on the part of the respondents in providing the utilities, ther .....

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he time that is otherwise available under the statute.

While it is true that the powers under section 119 of the Act are discretionary in nature and it is for the Board to exercise such powers as and when it deems fit. However, it is equally true that merely because such powers are discretionary, the Board cannot decline to exercise such powers even when the conditions for exercise of such powers are shown to exist.

In the light of the above discussion, the petition partly .....

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on the 1st day of April of the assessment year - SPECIAL CIVIL APPLICATION NO. 15075 of 2015 - Dated:- 29-9-2015 - MS.HARSHA DEVANI AND MR. A.G.URAIZEE, JJ. FOR THE PETITIONERS : MR SN SOPARKAR, SR. ADVOCATE with MR MANISH K KAJI, ADVOCATE FOR THE RESPONDENT : MR MR BHATT, SR. ADVOCATE with MRS MAUNA M BHATT, ADVOCATE JUDGMENT (PER : HONOURABLE MS.JUSTICE HARSHA DEVANI) 1. Rule. Mrs. Mauna Bhatt, learned senior standing counsel waives service of notice of rule on behalf of the respondents. 2. Ha .....

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ernations in Forms and Utilities or changes in tax compliance requirements, applicable from the A.Y. subsequent to the A.Y. in which such alterations are introduced. [b] that this Hon ble Court may be pleased to issue a writ of certiorari, or any other appropriate writ, order or direction holding the impugned announcement dated 9/9/2015 as being illegal, inasmuch as, it promotes the filing of ITR without the mandatorily required TAR. [c] that this Hon ble Court may be pleased to issue a writ of .....

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ssessee who is directly interested in the subject matter of the petition. 5. The controversy involved in the present case arises in the following backdrop. By a notification dated 01.05.2013 the first respondent made it mandatory for the assessees, to electronically file the income tax returns relevant for assessment year 2013-14 and onwards. In relation to assessment year 2014-15, the respondents failed to make the utility software for filing TAR until 21st August, 2014. Representations were ma .....

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return to 30th November, 2015, but to no avail. The petitioners therefore approached this court by way of writ petitions being Special Civil Application No. 12656 of 2014 and 12571 of 2014. The said petitions came to be allowed by directing CBDT to extend the due date for filing the income tax return to 30th November, 2014. 6. In relation to the current year, viz., assessment year 2015-16, the Department delayed notifying the ITR forms being ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-2A, ITR-4S but extended the due dat .....

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9.2015, according to the petitioners the delay in making the form available caused utter confusion and chaos amongst the Chartered Accountants and the assessees. It is the case of the petitioners that the tax audit returns can only be filed electronically which requires an appropriate utility/software to be made available by the respondents to the assessees. However, the respondents failed to make available the utilities for assessment year 2015 -16 until 07.08.2015, thereby creating a blackout .....

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e tax returns. On the contrary by an announcement dated 9th September, 2015 the Government of India Ministry of Finance, it was stated that a decision had been taken that the last date of filing of returns due by 30th September, 2015 will not be extended. It is in these circumstances that the petitioners have approached this court seeking the reliefs noted hereinabove. 7. Mr. S. N. Soparkar, Senior Advocate, learned counsel with Mr. Manish Kaji, learned advocate for the petitioners submitted tha .....

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g the income tax returns, in the absence of the utility for filing such returns online, the returns could not be filed earlier. It was submitted that there was significant delay in providing the utility for filing the returns online, that is, 7th August, 2015 and prior thereto, till the utility was made available, it was not possible to file the income tax returns. It was submitted that in respect of such delay, the assessees are not at fault and that till the online forms are prescribed, the as .....

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rder dated 22nd September, 2014 passed by this court in the petitioner s own case in Special Civil Application No.12656 of 2014 and allied matter, to point out that the court had observed that any introduction or new utility/software with additional requirement in the middle of the year ordinarily is not desirable. Any change unless inevitable can be planned well in advance. Keeping in focus such comprehensive process re-engineering may not result in undue hardship to the stake holders for whose .....

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, thereby causing immense prejudice to the assessees. It was submitted that when the respondent Board, under section 119 of the Act, has the administrative powers to excuse the assessees from the rigours created on account of non-notification of the utilities, fails to do so, the petitioners are justified invoking the jurisdiction of this court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. 7.2 The attention of the court was invited to the announcement dated 09.09.2015 issued by the Ministry of .....

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as compared to the earlier years. xxxx After consideration of all facts, it has been decided that the last date for filing of returns due by 30th September, 2015 will not be extended. The taxpayers are advised to file their returns in time to avoid last minute rush. It was submitted that prior to 7th August, 2015, the relevant forms were not e-enabled and made available to the assessees. Therefore, the question that arises for consideration is that when the law provides for a period of 180 days .....

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ontinue, it would be a different scenario. It was argued that unlike physical forms where everything could be ready, in the case of online forms, that is not the position, because every detail has to be punched in and that it cannot be expected of the assessees to be ready if the system is not available. It was submitted that in the case of assessees who are required to file returns of income in forms ITR-1, ITR-2, ITR-2A, ITR-4S, the due date for filing return came to be extended till 31st Augu .....

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sees belonging to the categories which are required to file returns in Forms ITR-3, ITR-4, ITR-5, ITR-6 and ITR-7, were required to be filed. It was, accordingly, urged that the action of the respondents in not granting time for filing income tax returns, being unreasonable and arbitrary, necessary directions are required to be issued to the first respondent Board to extend the period till 31st November, 2015. 8 Vehemently opposing the petition, Mr. M. R. Bhatt, Senior Advocate, learned counsel .....

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d by the non-extension of the date for filing the income tax returns. It was contended that there is nothing in the petition to show that the fundamental rights of a citizen has been infringed. It was submitted that while the utility was made available on 7th August, 2015, the only changes are with regard to giving details of foreign assets and bank accounts and that 98% of the data could have been compiled in advance and kept ready. It was submitted that the major part of the computation has to .....

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unching of data would not entitle the federation to move a petition seeking extension of time. It was submitted that while it is true that the petitioners had made representations, however, it is not as if such representations have not been considered. It was pointed out that the first respondent Board has replied to the said representations by virtue of the announcement dated 9th September, 2015. It was further submitted that the petition is vague and no data is forthcoming as regards how many .....

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, the court had dismissed a similar petition seeking extension of due date for filing the income tax returns. It was submitted that the writ petition has been filed without disclosing any cause of action or infringement of fundamental rights. 8.1 As regards the contention that the statute provides for 180 days for filing of income tax returns, it was submitted that neither the Act nor the rules provide that the forms for filing income tax returns have to be notified/e-enabled before 1st April. I .....

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rt was alive to the situation prevailing and has not thought it fit to grant any relief. Reliance was placed upon a decision of this court in the case of Commissioner of Income Tax v.Deepak Family Trust (No.1), (1995) 211 ITR 575, wherein the court had placed reliance upon the decision of the Bombay High Court in Maneklal Chunilal and Sons Ltd. v. Commissioner of Income Tax, (1953) 24 ITR 375, wherein it was observed that in conformity with the uniform policy which we have laid down in income ta .....

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er High Court on the interpretation of a section . It was submitted that therefore, once the Delhi High Court has taken a view, it is not permissible for this court to take a different view. 8.2 It was urged that the Board being an expert body, is alive to the difficulties of the tax payers and has stood up when such difficulties had arisen. Moreover, in the absence of any data as regards the actual hardship, grant of the reliefs prayed for would be detrimental to the policy decision of the Boar .....

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conducting audit while filing the tax returns is not uneven and constitutes a manageable workload for the professional concerned. Thus, the practicing Chartered Accounts have a limited, pre-known and well-defined workload and with proper time and work management, the audit work should not face any time-constraints. It was submitted that under the circumstances, there is no merit in the argument that Chartered Accountants are not getting sufficient time for finalizing and filing the audit report .....

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hanges to be made in business rules and which in turn also delays the process of handling and processing of returns and its consequential actions. It was further submitted that on writ petitions filed by various stake holders on this issue in their respective jurisdictional High Courts like, Delhi, Karnataka and Rajasthan High Courts have not granted any relief to the petitioners and therefore, in case, this court decides to allow the petition pertaining to its jurisdiction, thus deviating from .....

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overnment and the Central Board of Direct Taxes, and had directed the Central Board of Direct Taxes to consider the representations dated 15th September, 2015 peremptorily by 29th September, 2015. Reference was also made to the decision of the Rajasthan High Court in The Rajasthan Tax Consultants Association v. Union of India rendered on 28th September, 2015 in D. B. Civil Writ (PIL) Petition No.11034 of 2015 wherein, the court accepted the reasons given by the Government in the communication da .....

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me tax returns, which cannot be said to be not sufficient for the purpose of uploading the income tax returns. It was submitted that two other High Courts have rejected such petitions and the third High Court has not entertained the petition and relegated the petitioner therein to the Board and therefore, this court may not interfere with the policy decision taken by the Board in exercise of powers under section 226 of the Constitution of India. 8.6 In support of such submission, the learned cou .....

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without any evidence in support thereof, the PIL petitioners shall have to be put to strict proof and cannot be allowed to function as an extraordinary and extra-judicial ombudsmen questioning the entire exercise undertaken by an extensive body which include administrators, technocrats and financial experts. The court was of the considered view that this might lead to a friction if not collision among the three organs of the State and would affect the principle of governance engrained in the the .....

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matters affecting policy and requiring technical expertise, the court would leave the matter for decision of those who are qualified to address the issues. Unless the policy or action is inconsistent with the Constitution and the laws or arbitrary or irrational or abuse of power, the court will not interfere with such matters. Reliance was also placed upon the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Others v. Ramesh Chandra Agrawal and anot .....

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of U. P. and another v. Johri Mal, (2004) 4 SCC 714, with particular reference to paragraphs 28 to 30 thereof, for the proposition that the scope and extent of power of the judicial review of the High Court contained in Article 226 of the Constitution of India would vary from case to case, the nature of the order, the relevant statute as also the other relevant factors including the nature of power exercised by the public authorities, namely, whether power is statutory, quasi-judicial or adminis .....

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illegal; (iv) A mere wrong decision without anything more is not enough to attract the power of judicial review; the supervisory jurisdiction conferred on a Court is limited to seeing that Tribunal functions within the limits of its authority and that its decisions do not occasion miscarriage of justice; (v) The Courts cannot be called upon to undertake the Government duties and functions. The Court shall not ordinarily interfere with a policy decision of the State. Social and economic belief o .....

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situation would be created if a view different from other High Courts is taken by this court. It was submitted that, therefore, unless apparent hardship or arbitrariness is pointed out, this court would not interfere. It was, accordingly, urged that the petition being devoid of merits, deserves to be dismissed. 9 In rejoinder, Mr. Soparkar, learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that each member of the federation is directly affected by the non-extension of the date for filing the income .....

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ch could not have been done till 7th August, 2015 when the online details were available. As regards the contention that the changes in the online forms are minor in nature, it was submitted that unless the assessees know about the nature of the changes made, it is immaterial as to whether the changes are minor or major. It was submitted that such a contention could be available to the respondents provided the old form was continued. However, till the new form was issued, there was a total black .....

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t has given the assent only in May, 2015, it was submitted that the Finance Act, 2015 deals with returns to be filed in the subsequent year and not in the current year and hence, the Act which was given assent would be applicable to the subsequent assessment year and not this assessment year and hence, the contention that there was delay in prescribing the online utility on account of the delay on the part of the President in granting assent, is thoroughly misconceived. 9.2 The learned counsel p .....

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f the persons for whose benefit the power is to be exercised, which may couple the power with a duty, and make it the duty of the person in whom the power is reposed to exercise that power when called upon to do so. It was submitted that the petitioners have a right as assessees to believe that they would have enough time to file their income tax returns. It was submitted that the Board is vested with powers coupled with a duty to exercise them, when facts justify. 9.3 As regards the contention .....

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uthority which is vested with the powers under section 119 of the Act to extend the due date, has not exercised such powers, and therefore, occasion has arisen for the petitioners to approach the court. It was submitted that the law expects the respondents to be reasonable and that non-extension of the due date for filing the income tax returns cannot in any manner be said to be reasonable. 10 As regards the contention that a Chartered Accountant has in all to deal with 60 tax audits and corresp .....

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various other assessees in respect of whom the income tax returns have to be filed. Reference was made to Explanation 2 to section 139 of the Act, which defines due date , to point out that the same provides that the due date for filing income tax returns in respect of different categories of assessees. Referring to sub-rule (1) of rule 12 of the Income Tax Rules, 1962 (hereinafter referred to as the rules ), it was pointed out that various categories of assessees and nature of forms are prescr .....

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port and has to conduct only 60 tax audits and correspondingly 60 income tax returns in respect of which the period of seven weeks is sufficient, clearly disregards the other assessees in relation to whom also the utility was made available only with effect from 7th August, 2015. It was submitted that thus, the relevant forms for e-filing of returns were earlier prescribed only in case of the assessees falling under clauses (a), (b) and (ca), namely, the assessees having salary income, etc. It w .....

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t it is not permissible for the court to take a different view from that adopted by the Delhi, it was submitted that the question involved in the petition does not involve interpretation of a statutory provision. The attention of the court was also invited to the decision of this court in the case of N. R. Paper Board Limited v. Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, (1998) 234 ITR 733, wherein the court after considering the decision of the Bombay High Court in the case of Maneklal Chunilal and Son .....

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rent view. However, this is not an absolute proposition and there are certain well known exceptions to it. In cases where a decision is sub silentio, per incuriam, obiter dicta or based on a concession or takes a view which it is impossible to arrive at or there is another view in the field or there is a subsequent amendment of the statute or reversal or implied overruling of the decision by a High Court or some such or similar infirmity is manifestly perceivable in the decision, a different vie .....

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d such argument. It was submitted that as a broad proposition of law, normally, the court would not interfere with the policy decision; however, there are no fetters on the powers of the High Court of judicial review in case when facts warrant interference. 10.3 As regards the submission that the Income Tax Act being all-India Act, taking a different view would create an anomalous position, the learned counsel once again placed reliance upon a decision of this Court in the case of N. R. Paper Bo .....

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the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of Vishal Garg and others v. Union of India and another rendered today, that is, on 29th September, 2015 in CWP No.19770 of 2015, wherein the court, after considering the totality of the facts of the case and after considering the decisions of the Rajasthan High Court, Delhi High Court, has considered it appropriate to extend the date for e-filing of returns upto 31st October, 2015. 10.5 As regards the contention based upon the above referred decisio .....

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submitted that in those decisions, the Government did not owe any obligation. Besides, the issue involved in the present case does not relate to economic policy and is a simple issue of failure to exercise discretion where the facts justify exercise of such discretion. It was, accordingly, urged that the decision of the Board not to extend the due date for filing return of income, suffers from the vice of legal mala fides. 11. Mr. Bhatt, learned counsel for the respondents in response to the co .....

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d under the categories to which the petition relates, are ordinarily required to file their returns of income any time from 1st April till 30th September of the relevant assessment year. By virtue of rule 12 of the rules, all the assessees have to file the income tax returns electronically, that is, online. For this purpose, the corresponding utility relating to each category of assessees in the nature of Forms No.ITR-3, ITR-4, ITR-5, ITR-6 and ITR-7 are required to be provided by the respondent .....

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tax returns by 30th September, in view of the fact that the utility for filing the income tax returns has been furnished only on 7th August, 2015, such period stands substantially curtailed. Having regard to the difficulties faced by the Chartered Accountants and other professionals as well as the assessees, the petitioners made representations to the respondent Board for exercising powers under section 119 of the Act and extending the due date for filing the income tax returns prescribed under .....

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filing the income tax returns. The stand of the Board is that the period of seven weeks which is available to the petitioner and other assessees for filing online income tax returns, is sufficient and therefore, there is no reason for extending the due date for filing the income tax returns. 12. While it is true that the powers under section 119 of the Act are discretionary in nature and it is for the Board to exercise such powers as and when it deems fit. However, it is equally true that merely .....

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at: 119. (1) The Central Board of Direct Taxes may, from time to time, issue such orders, instructions and directions to other Income Tax Authorities as it may deem fit for the proper administration of this Act, and such authorities and all other persons employed in the execution of this Act shall observe and follow such orders, instructions and directions of the Board: Provided that no such orders, instructions or directions shall be issued- (a) so as to require any Income Tax Authority to make .....

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o issue from time to time general or special orders in respect of any class of incomes or class of cases setting forth directions or instructions, not being prejudicial to assessees, as the guidelines, principles or procedures to be followed in the work relating to assessment. Such instructions may be by way of relaxation of any of the provisions of the sections specified there or otherwise. The Board thus has power, inter alia, to tone down the rigour of the law and ensure a fair enforcement of .....

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law or in other permissible manner as laid down in Section 119. The power is given for the purpose of just, proper and efficient management of the work of assessment and in public interest. It is a beneficial power given to the Board for proper administration of fiscal law so that undue hardship may not be caused to the assessee and the fiscal laws may be correctly applied. Hard cases which can be properly categorised as belonging to a class, can thus be given the benefit of relaxation of law by .....

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income from 1st April to 30th September of the year in question. In view of the provisions of rule 12 of the rules, whereby, the assessees who are subject to tax audit, as well as the assessees referred to hereinabove, are required to file the tax returns electronically, that is, online. However, for filing the tax returns, appropriate utility is required to be made available by the respondents to the assessees. Therefore, till such utility is provided by the respondents, it is not possible for .....

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for filing the income tax returns to a great extent. According to the petitioners, such curtailment of time causes immense hardship and prejudice to the petitioners and other assessees belonging to the above categories, whereas the respondent Board, on the other hand, has taken an adamant stand not to extend the time for e-filing of the returns despite the fact that the entire situation has arisen on account of default on the part of the Department and not the assessees. 14. It may be recalled t .....

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or the assesses leading to such a situation. In the present case, with the advancement of the technology, it is always commendable that the department takes recourse to the technology more and more. With the possible defects having been found in utility software in use in the previous year, the required changes in the clarification or the new format of such utility, if brought to the fore, the same would be desirable. At the same time, the complete black out for nearly a month s time would not a .....

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eral or special orders in respect of any class or class of cases by way of relaxation of any of the provisions of section, which also includes section 139 of the Act. If the Board is of the opinion that it is necessary in the public interest to so do it. For avoiding the genuine hardship in any case or class of cases, the CBDT if considers desirable and expedient, by general or special order, it can issue such orders, instructions and directions for proper administration of this Act. All such au .....

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see the public interest for so doing, but also for avoiding the genuine hardship in any particular case or class of cases, such powers can be exercised. 54. Reverting to the matters on hand, a very peculiar situation has arisen portraying the genuine hardship to the assessee, as also to the tax consultants, by way of representations made to the Board, it would have been desirable and expedient on the part of the CBDT to have considered such request and exercise the powers by way of a relaxation .....

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1) of the Income-tax Act, 1961 provides that, The Central Board of Direct Taxes may, from time to time, issue such orders, instructions and directions to other Income-tax authorities as it may deem fit for the proper administration of this Act and such authorities and all other persons employed in the execution of this Act shall observe and follow such orders, instructions and directions of the Board. Provided that no such orders, instructions or directions shall be issued (a) so as to require a .....

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evenue to issue from time to time general or special orders in respect of any class of incomes or class of cases setting forth directions or instructions, not being prejudicial to assesses, as the guidelines, principles or procedures to be followed in the work relating to assessment. Such instructions may be by way of relaxation of any of the provisions of the sections specified there or otherwise. The Board thus has power, inter alia, to tone down the rigor of the law and ensure a fair enforcem .....

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the law or in other permissible manners as laid down in Section 119. The power is given for the purpose of just, proper and efficient management of the work of assessment and in public interest. It is a beneficial power given to the Board for proper administration of fiscal law so that undue hardship may not be caused to the assessee and the fiscal laws may be correctly applied. Hard cases which can be properly categorised as belonging to a class, can thus be given the benefit of relaxation of l .....

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t to consider such request. Being conscious of the fact that the writ of mandamus, which is highly prerogative writ is for the purpose of compelling the authorities of any official duties, officially charged by the law either refuses or fails to perform the same, the writ of mandamus is required to be used for the public purpose, particularly, when the party has not other remedy available. It is essentially designed to promote justice. 60. Keeping in mind the scope of writ jurisdiction as detail .....

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period of filing of the tax return and granting benefit of such extension for all other provisions, interest charged under section 234A for late filing of return would be still permitted to be levied, if the Board so choses for the period commencing from 1.10.2014 to the actual date of filing of the return of income. Those tax payers covered under these provisions if choose to pay the amount of tax on or before the 30th September, 2014, no interest in any case would be levied despite their fili .....

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t in undue hardship to the stakeholders for whose benefit the same operates. 76. Besides, no grave prejudice would be caused to the revenue if the due date for filing the return of income is also extended till the date of filing of the tax audit report, whereas the assessee would be visited with serious consequences as referred to hereinabove in case of nonfiling of return of income within the prescribed period as he would not be in a position to claim the benefit of the provisions referred to h .....

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y the court that the respondents in future may plan any change well in advance, a similar situation has prevailed in the present year also and the utilities for e-filing of income tax returns have been made available as late as on 7th August, 2015, leaving the petitioners and other assessees with less than one third of the time that is otherwise available under the statute. 16. It may be noted that in the facts of the above case, there was a blackout for a period of one month, whereas in the yea .....

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whereas insofar as the revenue is concerned, no hardship or prejudice is likely to be caused, inasmuch as the interest of the revenue can be taken care of by providing that the due date shall stand extended for all purposes, except for the purposes of Explanation 1 to section 234A of the Act. Under the circumstances, when no prejudice is caused to the revenue and the assessees are put to great hardship on account of the short period within which the income tax returns are to be filed, it was ex .....

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the part of the respondents, it is the assessees who would have to face the consequences of not filing the returns in time. The contention that no prejudice is caused to the petitioners/assessees, therefore, does not merit acceptance. 18. Unfortunately, however, despite the aforesaid position, the Board has declined to exercise the discretion vested in it under section 119 of the Act to come to the rescue of the assessees and grant them some relief, leaving the court with no option but to direc .....

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ountant, as an individual or as a partner of a firm, can conduct only upto sixty tax audits under section 44AB of the Act and corresponding number of tax returns are required to be filed, in respect of which, the seven weeks available to them should be sufficient. In this regard it may be germane to refer to rule 12 of the rules, which prescribes the different forms under which assessees belonging to various categories enumerated thereunder are required to file their returns. Clause © of su .....

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in clause (a) or (b) or (c) or (ca) deriving income from a proprietory business or profession. Clause (e) prescribes Form No. ITR-5 in the case of a person not being an individual or a Hindu undivided family or a company or a person to which clause (g) applies. Clause (f) prescribes Form No. ITR-6 in the case of a company not being a company to which clause (g) applies and clause (g) prescribes Form No.ITR-7 in the case of a person including a company whether or not registered under section 25 .....

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r of tax audits conducted by a Chartered Accountant may be limited to 60, but the total number of assessees that he deals with is not limited to 60, as a large number of assessees may belong to the categories which are not subject to tax audit under section 44AB of the Act. 20. The Board while not extending the due date for filing return was also of the view that due date should not be extended just for the benefit of those who have remained lax till now for no valid reason in discharging their .....

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When the default lies at the end of the respondents, some grace could have been shown by the Board instead of taking a stand that such a trend may not be encouraged. Had it not been for the laxity on the part of the respondents in providing the utilities, there would not have been any cause for the petitioners to seek extension of the due date for filing tax returns. 21. As regards the decision of the Delhi High Court on which reliance has been placed by the learned counsel for the petitioners, .....

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ilability of the necessary utility for filing the return online. Besides, the Delhi High Court has not taken into consideration the factor that unless the utility is made available, the assessees would not be aware of the details which they are required to furnish, inasmuch as, the delay in providing the utilities is on account of the changes made in the corresponding forms. It may also be pertinent to note that the court in paragraph 22 of the judgment has expressed the view that there is some .....

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o change is intended therein, to notify the same immediately. The court found no justification for delay beyond the assessment year in prescribing the said forms. Accordingly, while not granting relief to the petitioner for the current assessment year, the court directed the respondents to, with effect from the next assessment year, at least ensure that the forms etc. which are prescribed for the Audit Report and for filing the ITR are available as on 1st April of the assessment year unless ther .....

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on of their representation and does not lay down any proposition of law. The Rajasthan High Court has expressed the view that the decision contained in the announcement dated 9th September, 2015 being a policy decision, the court should not interfere. The court, therefore, has not considered the non-exercise of discretionary powers under section 119 of the Act on the part of the Board despite the fact that the circumstances so warrant exercise of discretion in favour of the assessee. 23. The Pun .....

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