Delhi High Court orders clubbing of complaints for having an account in Switzerland with Intention to Evade Tax and hide Money Transactions [Read Order]

Delhi High Court - clubbing of complaints - account in- Switzerland - Evade Tax - Money Transactions - Taxscan

The Delhi High Court ordered the clubbing of allegations of having an account in Zurich, Switzerland with the intention to evade tax and hide money transactions.

The petitioner, Parminder Singh Kalra is said to be the Director/EEO of one M/S Consortium Securities Pvt. Ltd. The department conducted a search on the premises of the petitioner on the allegation that information was received from the Government of France that the petitioner is having an account in HSBC Bank, Zurich, Switzerland with the mala fide intention to evade tax and to hide money transactions.

The respondent department preferred a criminal complaint being under Section 276-D of the Income Tax Act against the petitioner. The respondent department also preferred two separate criminal complaints under Section 276-C (1) and Section 277 of the Income Tax Act.

In this petition, the stand of the petitioner is that the respondent department has preferred these complaints on the very same material, evidence, witnesses, and documents and the allegation in all the three complaints are to a large extent word to word the same.

The petitioner is facing three separate trials in all the three complaints before the same Magistrate for allegedly not declaring the fact of having a foreign account to the Income Tax authorities, though the material and evidence relied upon by the respondent/department is similar in all the three complaints.

The petitioner stated that he had filed an application before the learned Magistrate for clubbing of the three complaints and joint trial, which was rejected by the learned Magistrate.

The broad test for ascertaining whether offences charged form part of the same transaction is whether the other set of offences, even though distinct and separate, have been committed for facilitating the commission of the main offence.

If the offenses alleged involve similar persons and there is a hint of continuity of action, it is then part of the same transaction. Thus, if the substratum of the series of acts is common, then those acts do constitute the same transaction.

The single-judge bench of Justice Brijesh Sethi observed that the three complaints in fact are a part of the same transaction. The first complaint has been filed on the assumption that the petitioner is holding an undisclosed foreign account and two subsequent complaints are nothing but to arrive at a figure to meet the ingredients of the first offense.

“The chart given above reveals that the allegations, documents, and nature of evidence are the same in all the three complaints. In these circumstances, it will be in the interest of justice to have a common trial for all the three complaints,” the court said.

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