Where despite stay granted by Tribunal revenue attached and took away proceeds of assessee’s bank account, revenue was directed to lift attachment

High Court Of Delhi

A.T. Kearney India (P.) Ltd. vs. ITO

Section : 222, 220, 254

Ravindra Bhat And R.V. Easwar, JJ.

W.P. (C) No. 1937 Of 2014

March  28, 2014

JUDGMENT

1. The facts of this case are that the petitioner lost its appeal before the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals) on November 20, 2013. The Revenue issued notice under section 221 for determined the demand amounts due for the assessment year 2007-08, which was the subject matter of the appeal before the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals). In reply the petitioner concededly filed a letter on February 11, 2014, stating that it had preferred an appeal and stay application to the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal. The appeal along with the application for stay was taken up on February 14, 2014, when the Tribunal granted the stay in the following terms :

“3. We have heard both the sides, considered the material on record and find the undisputed fact that 50 per cent. of the remaining demand stands paid/recovered by/from the assessee for both the years which during the pendency of appeal, the assessee was asked to pay 50 per cent. of the demand. Therefore, in view of the facts and circumstances of the case and material on record, we are of the view that it is a fit case where stay should be granted subject to the condition that the assessee should not seek any adjournment and make its every effort to get the appeal concluded as and when fixed and considered for hearing. Therefore, we grant stay of demand for a period of 180 days/till the disposal of the appeals, whichever is earlier, and in case the assessee seeks adjournment, accommodation herein granted shall stand vacated without any notice to the assessee.”

2. The petitioner’s grievance in the above background of the circumstances is that despite the stay granted by the Tribunal the respondents attached and took away the proceeds of its bank account on February 19, 2014. Counsel for the Revenue contends that there was no intimation about the stay and that the concerned Assessing Officer was not present when the Tribunal granted the stay ; it was also stated that besides the mere filing of the appeal did not entitle the petitioner to contend that the respondent is barred from proceeding to recover the tax paid.

3. As is evident from the above discussion, the petitioner’s application for stay was granted and the interim order was made for the period of 180 days. On February 14, 2014, we notice that the income-tax authorities were represented by Mr. Yogesh Verma, CIT-DR, before the Tribunal. The order on the stay application was also pronounced in open court on that date.

4. In these circumstances, the submission of the Revenue that the concerned Assessing Officer was not intimated, cannot be accepted. If such an argument was made before this court, where orders are pronounced in court in the presence of counsel, it would certainly not be accepted, and in fact would be seriously viewed. In the facts of this case, it clearly amounts to overreach of the interim order of the Tribunal ; in a similar situation, this court itself would possibly be initiating contempt proceedings. In these circumstances, the court is of the opinion that the respondent should lift the attachment and ensure that the amounts recovered are deposited back in the petitioner’s account within a week from today.

5. The writ petition is allowed in terms of the above directions.

6. A copy of the present order shall be marked to the Central Board of Direct Taxes separately and communicated.

7. Order dasti.

[Citation : 363 ITR 172]