Saturday, February 18, 2017

Rs 30 lakhs black money seized by Punjab Police eligible for PMGKY scheme; High Court

Facts:

a) Assessee was travelling in a cab from Delhi carrying Rs. 30 lakhs. Such cash amount was seized by Punjab police and handed over to the Income-tax Officers.b) Assessee filed writ petition seeking unconditional release of amount with a further prayer to avail of the remedy under 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 2016' (PMGKY) by depositing the aforesaid amount, tax, surcharge and penalty.

High Court held in favour of assessee as under:

1) A person having unaccounted cash can avail of the benefit of the PMGKY scheme by submitting the Form 1 at any time on or before 31-3-2017 provided he does not fall under the list of excluded cases.

2) In the exclusion, it is mentioned that the scheme shall not apply in relation to prosecution for any offence punishable under Chapter IX or Chapter XVII of the Indian Penal Code, etc.

3) The use of the words "in relation of prosecution of any offence" instead of "in relation to investigating for any of the offence" clearly shows legislative intent that provisions would apply only if the chargesheet or complaint is filed for prosecuting any person under any of the aforementioned provisions of the Act and not merely when investigations are going on.

4) In the instant case, no complaint or chargesheet was pending against assessee. The alleged un-disclosed seized cash had been handed over to the Income-tax department and summons had already been served upon the petitioner.

5) Assessee was not trying to project undisclosed income as duly accounted for availing of the remedy. Since he was not amongst the persons who weren’t eligible for availing of the PMGKY Deposit Scheme, the Income-tax Officer could not deny the benefit of PMGKY. - [2017] 78 taxmann.com 172 (Punjab & Haryana)
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