The Delhi High Court on Friday set aside two orders of a tax tribunal, including one which had allowed a plea by the income tax (I-T) department for early hearing on an appeal by NDTV founder Prannoy Roy and his wife against tax demand without giving them a notice.
A Bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and A K Chawla also set aside the second order of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) allowing the I-T department to place additional evidence before it, without issuing notice or giving a hearing to Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy. It held that the ITAT’s opinion on this aspect is clearly “erroneous and is accordingly set aside”.
It also said, “It is open to the Revenue to move appropriate applications to bring on record the documents which the assessee furnished to it and also move an application for early hearing. The ITAT shall deal with these applications on merits and pass appropriate orders in accordance with law.”
The couple have challenged the validity of the two ITAT orders on the ground that they were passed in an “unusual manner” and the tribunal had entertained the plea of IT department for placing additional documents which were not part of the record.
Roys submitted that the plea for early hearing of their appeals of assessment years 2009-10 and 2010-11 were made by the department without giving any notice or copy to them.
They contended that when they had sought to submit their version before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal on the aspect of early hearing of the appeals, they were not allowed to do so. The ITAT, said the material on record showed that the counsel for the assessee had agreed to supply the documents but did not give them. The court brushed aside the ITAT’s contention and said, “Nevertheless, the proper procedure prescribed by law in this case has to be followed…”