The CBDT should reconsider the direction in the Central Action Plan of offering incentives to CsIT(A) to enhance assessments and levy penalty.: Bombay HC

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The CBDT should reconsider the direction in the Central Action Plan of offering incentives to CsIT(A) to enhance assessments and levy penalty.: Bombay HC

The CBDT should reconsider the direction in the Central Action Plan of offering incentives to CsIT(A) to enhance assessments and levy penalty.: Bombay HC

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION NO.3343 OF 2018
The Chamber of Tax Consultants & Anr. ] … Petitioners
Versus
The Central Board of Direct Taxes ] Dept. of Revenue & Anr. ] … Respondents
Mr. S. E. Dastur, Senior Advocate a/w Mr. Vipul Joshi, Mr. Harsh
Kothari, Mr. Abhishek Padwalkar & Mr. Dharan V. Gandhi for
Petitioners.
Mr. Anil Singh, ASG, a/w Mr. Sham V. Walve for Respondent No.1.
ALONG WITH
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION NO.144 OF 2018
ACELEGAL & Anr. ] … Petitioners
Versus
Union of India & Anr. ] … Respondents
Ms. Ritika Agarwal a/w Ms. Deepti Jethva or Petitioners.
Mr. Anil Singh, ASG, a/w Mr. Sham V. Walve for Respondent No.2.
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CORAM :AKIL
KURESHI &
SARANG V. KOTWAL, JJ.
DATE :22
MARCH, 2019
P. C. :1.
These Petitions involve similar issues. The Petitioners
have challenged certain portion of the central action plan formulatedby the Central Board of Direct Taxes (‘CBDT’, for short). This
document contains Chapter 3 pertaining to litigation management.
This Chapter provides the target for Appeals to be disposed by the
Appellate Commissioner in expeditious manner. The clauses
contained in this Chapter lay down targets and norms to be achieved
within certain time.
2. The challenge of the Petitioners is in two parts. In the first
part, the Petitioners have challenged the directions issued by the
CBDT for disposal of certain number of Appeals of specified categories
within specified time. According to the Petitioners, these time limits
are artificially applied, are contrary to the statutory provisions and
also have the effect of making hurried orders by the Appellate
Commissioner.

  1. The Petitioners’ second part of the challenge is to the
    following portion of the said Chapter :
    “Incentive for quality orders :
    (i) With a view to encourage quality work by CITs
    (A),additional credit of 2 units shall be allowed for
    each quality appellate order passed. The CIT (A) may
    claim such credit by reporting such orders in their
    monthly DO letter to the CCIT concerned. Quality
    cases would include cases where (
    a) enhancement has been made,
    (b) order has been strengthened, in the opinion of the
    CCID, and
    (c) penalty u/s 271(1) has been levied by the CIT (A).”
    4. With respect to the first part, we are primafacie
    of the
    opinion that the target set by the CBDT for disposal of the Appeals
    within the timeframe
    provided, are directory and not mandatory.
    Primafacie,
    we also feel that it may not be impermissible for the
    CBDT to prioritize the disposal of the Appeals and to set the goals for
    disposal of certain number of such Appeals by the Appellate
    Commissioner.
    5. With respect to the Petitioners’ second part of the
    challenge, we are of the opinion that the CBDT should reconsider the
    same. From the action plan, it is not clear as to the utility of the
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    norms set which the Commissioner has to achieve. If the purpose of
    setting of norms is to evaluate the performance of the Commissioner,
    there would be all the more reason why the abovequoted
    portion of
    the action plan be reconsidered by the CBDT.
    6. On the next date of hearing, the learned Counsel for the
    Respondent would apprise us about the utility of the norms that the
    Commissioner would need to achieve and the outcome of the CBDT’s
    deliberations on our recommendation for reconsideration.
    7. Stand over to 11/04/2019.
    (SARANG V. KOTWAL, J.) (AKIL KURESHI, J.)

 

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