Allahabad High Court refuses to quash charges against Income Tax Commissioner for causing wrongful loss to revenue to tune of Rs. 7.26 cr [Read Order]

Allahabad High Court - Income Tax Commissioner - revenue - Taxscan

The Allahabad High Court refused to quash charges in respect of offences of cheating, criminal conspiracy and Corruption against CIT(A).

The allegation against the applicant, S.K. Srivastava a (compulsory) retired official while posted as Commissioner Income Tax (Appeals) (for short ‘CIT(A)-I’), with additional charge of CIT(A)-II Noida, during December 2018 to 11 June 2019, indulged in acts of omission and commission adverse to the interest of revenue.

It is further alleged that the orders passed by the applicant in the capacity of an appellate authority were antedated i.e. after his retirement on 11 June 2019. The orders were uploaded on the ITBA system after demitting the office.

The investigation further reveals falsification of records. It is further alleged that during this period 13 appeals were decided by the applicant in conspiracy with co-accused CA Anil Kumar, which were beyond the jurisdiction of CIT(A) Noida.

These appeals fall within the jurisdiction of CIT(A) Ghaizabad. It is alleged that the appellate orders were procured orders for extraneous consideration. The applicant never held the charge of CIT(A) Ghaziabad during the period September 2018 to 11 June 2019.

The applicant submitted that applicant being a quasi judicial authority, exercising appellate jurisdiction, under the statutory provisions was competent to decide the appeals, both on the subject matter and jurisdiction. There is no evidence on record to show that the orders passed in the appeals were procured for extraneous considerations; proper notice was given to the assessees in all the appeals, the notices have been brought on record; the appeals were decided on merit after due notice to the concerned official of the department.

It is further urged by the applicant that it is a case of malicious prosecution to harass the applicant; taking the allegations and evidence on face value, the ingredients of the offence against the applicant is not made out. Therefore, the proceeding is liable to be quashed being abuse of the process of the Court.

On the other hand, CBI submitted that the ingredients of the offence of cheating, criminal conspiracy and under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, is made out; he further submits that exercise of inherent power of the Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C. is limited, the Court would not enter into the merit or consider the defence being raised by the applicant; it is urged that only a, prima facie, case linking the applicant to the offence has to be examined at the stage of framing of charge.

The single judge bench  of Justice Suneet Kumar observed that the allegation against the applicant is that by virtue of his position as appellate authority he dishonestly and fraudulently adjudicated 13 appeals outside his jurisdiction conspiring with the co-accused, thereby, causing wrongful loss at Rs. 7.26 crores to the revenue.

Therefore, the court, while dismissing the appeal opined that there is prima facie evidence in support of the charges. The submission of the learned counsel for the applicant that the criminal prosecution does not constitute the ingredients of the offence against the applicant, lacks substance.

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