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2016 (5) TMI 78 - DELHI HIGH COURT

2016 (5) TMI 78 - DELHI HIGH COURT - TMI - Whether the rejection of the applications of the Petitioners by the Additional Commissioners acting as “Designated Authority” was without jurisdiction inasmuch as Clause 8 of the Amnesty Scheme envisages only the Commissioner VAT passing such orders - Held that:- the Court is satisfied that the impugned orders rejecting Petitioners” applications could not have been passed by an Additional Commissioner who has been declared as Designated Authority in exe .....

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od of one year in all these cases has elapsed. Therefore, it is not possible for the Court to place the said applications before the Commissioner for a fresh decision. Therefore, the impugned orders issued by the Additional Commissioners rejecting the applications of each of the Petitioners in exercise of the power under Clause 8 of the Amnesty Scheme are hereby quashed. - Petition disposed of - W. P. (C) 2314/2015 & CM No. 4147/2015 (for stay), W.P.(C) 2398/2015 & CM No. 4301/2015 (for stay) , .....

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cations under the Delhi Tax Compliance Achievement Scheme, 2013 (hereafter Amnesty Scheme ). 2. Under Section 107 of the Delhi Value Added Tax Act, 2004 ( DVAT Act ), the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi ( GNCTD ) is empowered to notify, in the official gazette, amnesty scheme(s) covering payment of tax, interest, penalty or any other dues under the DVAT Act relating to any period ending before 1st April 2013 subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be specified th .....

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th April 2014 naming 7 Additional Commissioner s(T&T) of various zones as Designated Authority for the disposal of applications received under the Amnesty Scheme for their respective zones/branches with immediate effect. The order states that it has been issued with prior approval of the Commissioner (T&T). 5. Each of the Petitioners in these writ petitions availed of the Amnesty Scheme by submitting applications. In the case of the Petitioner in Writ Petition (C) Nos. 2536/2015 and 3909 .....

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Petitioner in Writ Petition (C) Nos. 2536/2015 and 3909/2015 is concerned, the applications filed were processed by the DT&T and a discharge certificate in DSC-3 was issued on 20th June 2014 for all the years for which the applications were filed providing immunity as per Clause 5 of the Amnesty Scheme. Similarly, a discharge certificate in DSC-3 was issued to the Petitioner in Writ Petition (C) No. 2398/2015 on 19th August 2014. However it is stated in Writ Petition (C) No. 2314/2015 that t .....

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DSC-2. Under Clause 4(6), the declarant shall furnish to the Designated Authority details of all payments made from time to time under the Amnesty Scheme. Under Clause 4(7), the acknowledgment of discharge of dues is issued to the declarant by the Designated Authority within 15 days in Form DSC-3 provided that the declarant had furnished the details of full payment of the declared tax dues payable under Clause 4(4). 8. Clause 5(2) of the Amnesty Scheme states that the declaration made under Cla .....

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clause 5 of the Schen1e, where the Commissioner has, for a period beginning from 1st April, 2009, reasons to believe that the declaration was false in material particulars, he may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, serve notice on the declarant in respect of such declaration requiring him to show cause as to why he should not be required to pay the tax dues unpaid or short-paid as per the provisions of the Scheme. (2) If the Commissioner is satisfied, for reasons to be recorded in writing, .....

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ce shall be issued under sub-clause (1) of this clause after the expiry of one year from the date of declaration. 10. In the present writ petitions, each of the Petitioners, including the Petitioners in Writ Petition (C) Nos. 2398/2015, 2536/2015 and 3909/2015 who had initially been issued the discharge in From DSC-3, received a show cause notice ( SCN ) referring to their having made claims which were not admissible and which were liable to be rejected by the DT&T. Each of the SCNs was issu .....

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d order was passed by the Additional Commissioner on 11th February 2015. The Additional Commissioner directed the assessing authority to carry out rectification of assessments for all the relevant years for which the said Petitioner has applied under the Amnesty Scheme. This led the said Petitioner to approach this court through Writ Petition (C) No. 2536/2015 seeking to quash the order dated 11th February 2015. 13. Meanwhile, orders for assessment and penalty under Section 32 and 33 of the DVAT .....

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15. The short question that arises for consideration of the Court is whether the rejection of the applications of the Petitioners by the Additional Commissioners acting as Designated Authority was without jurisdiction inasmuch as Clause 8 of the Amnesty Scheme envisages only the Commissioner VAT passing such orders. 16. In response to the notice issued in these writ petitions, a reply has been filed by the Respondents where, inter alia, on this specific aspect, the stand taken is that the power .....

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Commissioners, Value Added Tax Officers ( VATOs ) and such other persons with such designation as the Government thinks appropriate, to assist the Commissioner in the administration of the DVAT Act. 18. Under Section 66(2)(b) of the DVAT Act, the Commissioner may with the previous sanction of the Government, engage and procure the engagement of other persons to assist him in the performance of his duties. 19. Section 68 of the DVAT Act deals with delegation of the Commissioner s powers. Under Se .....

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the DVAT Act by the Commissioner. The order contains four columns where Column 1 gives the serial number, Column 2 gives the Section of the DVAT Act, Column 3 gives the description of powers and Column 4 gives the description of the officer to whom the power is delegated. In other words, section-wise there is a specific delegation of powers to various officers by designation. What is significant, as far as this order is concerned, is that in the column which gives the section of the DVAT Act, Se .....

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ted Authority for the purposes of disposal of applications received under the Amnesty Scheme. Such Designated Authorities would exercise powers as mentioned in Clauses 4 and 5 of the Amnesty Scheme. Clause 8 of the Amnesty Scheme does not envisage the power therein to be exercised by a Designated Authority but only by the Commissioner. Unless there is a specific order issued by the Commissioner under Section 68(1) of the DVAT Act delegating his powers under Clause 8 of the Amnesty Scheme to any .....

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under Section 36A(8) of the DVAT Act could be exercised by an officer other than the Commissioner, particularly when that provision envisages the powers being exercised only by the Commissioner. Just as in the present case, there the Respondents were unable to produce before the Court an order issued by the Commissioner delegating his powers under Section 36A(8) of the DVAT Act to any other subordinate officer. In the circumstances, the Court negatived the plea that the Commissioner could have .....

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