Monday, September 5, 2016

Dy. Director of Income Tax isn’t empowered to lodge complaint for prosecution against taxpayer

a) The Deputy Director of Income Tax (‘Dy. DIT’) filed complaint for prosecution against taxpayers (i.e., husband and wife) under Indian Penal Code on basis of revelation that the statements made by taxpayers on the date of the search were false and misleading.

b) The Trial Court held that sufficient grounds had been made out against taxpayers to proceed under Sections 191,193, 200 IPC.

c) The taxpayers sought annulment of order of Trial Court primarily on the ground that the search operations having been undertaken by the I.T.Os., the complaint could not have been lodged by the DY. DIT, who was not the appellate authority in terms of Section 195(4) of the CrCPC. On appeal, the High Court declined to interfere on either of these contentions.

The Supreme Court held as under:

1) The DY. DIT, cannot be construed to be an authority to whom appeal would ordinarily lie from the decisions or orders of the I.T.Os involved in the search proceedings so as to empower him to lodge the complaint in view of the restrictive preconditions imposed by Section 195 of CrPC.

2) Thus, the complaint filed by the Deputy Director of Income Tax was to be held as incompetent. – [2016] 73 32 (SC)