Kerala HC directs Expeditious Consideration of Delay Condonation and Stay Petition in Income Tax Appeal, Halts Recovery Proceedings [Read Order]

The court mandated that there shall not be any recovery proceedings pursuant to the assessment order and demand notice until the entire exercise is complete

The High Court of Kerala issued a direction for the expeditious consideration of delay condonation and a stay petition in an income tax appeal, effectively halting recovery proceedings. The petitioner challenged an assessment order for the assessment year 2018-2019 passed by the Income Tax Officer. In response, the petitioner filed an appeal before the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) under Section 246A of the Income Tax Act and also applied for condonation of the delay of 169 days in filing the appeal, along with a stay petition. Under Section 246A of the Income Tax Act, any aggrieved assessee can appeal to the Commissioner (Appeals) against various orders, including orders of assessment, re-assessment, re-computation, penalty imposition, and other related decisions. This section also facilitates the transfer of pending appeals before the Deputy Commissioner (Appeals) to the Commissioner (Appeals) upon the appointed day, with provisions for reopening previous proceedings or requesting a rehearing. During the hearing, the court considered the grievance of the petitioner regarding the enforcement of the demand notice pending the appeal process. The court observed that “in the facts and circumstances of the case and having regard to the fact that Ext.P3 is a statutory appeal, there will be a direction to the respondent to consider the application for condonation of delay in filing the appeal as expeditiously as possible. If the delay is condoned, the stay petition shall be taken up for consideration expeditiously.” Justice Murali Purushothaman mandated that the entire exercise be completed within a period of two months from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment. The court ordered a halt to any recovery proceedings pursuant to the assessment order and demand notice.

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