|The Tax Publishers2020 TaxPub(DT) 5352 (P&H-HC) : (2020) 429 ITR 0001
CONSTITUTION OF INDIA, 1950
Article 226 Sections 276B, 276C & 277
When the complaint for prosecution was instituted, Settlement Commission had not allowed the proceedings before it on the application for Settlement filed by the petitioner and therefore, there was no bar on the powers of the Commissioner to order the launching of the prosecution on the day the complaint was filed. Mere allowing of the proceedings on the application of the petitioner by the Settlement Commission did not operate as a bar to the prosecution already instituted under the orders of the Commissioner, therefore, petition was dismissed.
Prosecution under section 276B, 276C, 277 - Maintainability - Assessee's application pending before Settlement Commission - Commission had not allowed the proceedings on application of petitioner to proceed further--Power of Settlement Commission
Petitioners sought quashing of the complaint filed under sections 276B, 276C and 277 of the IT Act read with section 417 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 in the financial year 2016-17 and also sought stay on all consequential proceedings, pursuant to complaint. In support of this, they try to rely upon their attempt to approach the Settlement Commission to pay the tax as per the disclosure made by them. The contention of petitioners in the proceedings was that since proceedings were already commenced before the Settlement Commission with reference to tax payable regarding disclosed income the respondent-Income Tax authority has no right to initiate complaint proceedings on the basis that there is suppression of income and non-payment of tax thereon. Held: When complaint was instituted, Commission had not allowed the proceedings on application of petitioner to proceed further. It could not be said that the Settlement Commission was seized of the matter when the prosecution was launched under the orders of Commissioner. There was no bar on the powers of Commissioner to order the launching of prosecution on the day complaint was filed. While allowing the plea of the petitioners to proceed with the application, Settlement Commission did not give a direction for stay of the criminal proceedings. Mere allowing of proceedings on application of petitioner by Settlement Commission did not operate as a bar to prosecution already instituted under the orders of the Commissioner. Therefore, petition was dismissed.
Applied:Shakti Metal Box v. UOI (1993) 204 ITR 450 (P&H) : 1993 TaxPub(DT) 1329 (P&H-HC).
FAVOUR : Petition dismissed.
IN THE PUNJAB & HARYANA HIGH COURT
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