Tuesday, 13 February 2018

SC : Advises unconditional apology but declines relief in contempt proceedings initiation against taxpayer /TRO

SC refuses to interfere with Bombay HC order directing initiation of civil and criminal contempt proceedings against the President of Sinhgad Technical Education Society (assessee) as also against the Tax Recovery Officer (‘TRO’) for misrepresenting the order of the Court and for wilful disobedience of Court’s order; Subsequent to HC’s refusal to grant relief against ITAT’s order to deposit Rs.18 cr., President Mr. Navale had filed communications before the Bank officials & TRO, claiming that HC, through 'oral' directions, had allowed assessee to withdraw funds received by it in its bank account (post this communication the assessee withdrew Rs. 9 cr from bank account received from Social Welfare Department), similar misrepresentation was also made by TRO to the assessee's bank; Noting the undisputed and agreed position between the parties that no such 'oral' instructions were given by the Court, HC had held that the conduct of Mr. Navale and TRO amounted to wilful disobedience of the Court’s order; Against the SLP filed by assessee challenging HC order, SC holds that “We are not inclined to interfere but we leave the petitioner with the remedy of approaching the High Court to tender an unqualified apology and also to make the offer of payment/deposit as made before this Court.”; SC further holds that the HC is free to pass such order as may be considered appropriate:SC 

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