Monday, June 1, 2015

ITAT imposes cost on CAs for intimidating RTI applications when appeal is heard and pending for order


ITAT imposed costs on Chartered Accountants (i.e., Ld. Counsel and his son) for filing RTI applications against judicial officers not for any public purposes but to intimidate judicial officers and a blackmailing tactics for mean professional interest.

Facts:


a) Appeal of the assessee was earlier dismissed by the ITAT. Thereafter the assessee prayed for showing leniency and recalling the original order.The Bench after hearing Ld. Counsel of assessee (A Chartered Accountant by profession), recalled the order of dismissal of appeal and restored the original appeal for hearing.

b) During the course of hearing, Ld. Counsel of assessee gave a seemingly improbable proposition that an anonymous letter was received by him from benami employee of the Income Tax department mentioning that some conspiracy was hatched by income tax officers against the assessee.

c) The Ld. Counsel undertook to file requisite affidavit and requested for time which bench readily acceded by adjourning appeal. On final date of hearing, son of Ld. Counsel (who was also a Chartered Accountant) appeared with an adjournment application, mentioning that his father would not be able to attend the hearing as he had to attend the marriage.

d) The adjournment application was rejected. Ld. Counsel without even waiting for the orders sent letters to judicial officers making wild accusation of corruption, bias, insulting, collusions, etc. and further he filed intimidating RTI applications to judicial officers.

The ITAT held as under:

1) The casual way of adjournment against final chance showed the casual attitude of Ld. Counsel and his son of taking the judicial process for granted. There is nothing to even remotely suggest any reason on the part of bench to show partiality, prejudice, bias or intention to insult Ld. Counsel or his son. They were treated with deserving dignity by offering help and guidance in open court proceedings.

2) Ld. Counsel deliberately filed various RTI applications asking for about 81 queries in respect of number of personal details about the judicial officers. These acts of Ld. Counsel proved that RTI attack was not for any public purposes but to intimidate judicial officers and a blackmailing tactics for mean professional interest, to extract desired result in a sub-judice appeal. This attempt on the part of Ld. Counsel amounts to a total misuse of professional position for dubious gains.

3) Ld. Counseland his son should have waited for the order to be pronounced instead of unfolding foul tactics to influence the pending judicial order. They seemed to be ignorant about filing a proper power of attorney, which is to be given on a non-judicial stamp paper. Furthermore the ICAI guidelines provides that every Chartered Accountant shall mention his registration number on the power of attorney, which both of them have failed to mention.

4) Both Chartered Accountants were liable for suitable proceedings for their professional misconduct, misbehavior, wasting the time of court and unlawfully attempting to interfere in the process of judicial dispensation.

5) Further cost of Rs 25,000 was to be imposed on Ld. Counsel and Rs 10,000 on his son for their delinquencies as mentioned above. - MUNDRA WOOLEN MILLS (P.) LTD. V. ACIT (2015) 57 taxmann.com 447 (Jaipur - Trib.)
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