Top Stories Marginal Delay of 11 Days: Bombay HC directs Income Tax Dept to accept Declaration under VSV Act [Read Order] The Bombay HC directed the Income Tax Department to accept the declaration under the VSV Act as there was only a marginal delay of 11 days. By Kalyani B. Nair – On January 29, 2024 3:02 pm – 2 mins read The Bombay High Court directed the Income Tax Department to accept the declaration under the Vivad se Vishwas Act, 2020 (VSV Act) as there was only a marginal delay of 11 days.
The Petitioner filed a declaration under the VsV Act in Form 1 inter alia, giving particulars of tax arrears and amounts payable in respect of the pending Income Tax dispute for Assessment Year 2017-18. Since the outstanding tax demand was of 235,94,164/, the amount under the VsV Act was computed at 214,04,620/-after adjustment of the amount of 28.14,000/- which the Petitioner already paid to the revenue. The Petitioner has pleaded that in June 2021 or thereabouts, the Respondents closed their old website and migrated to a new website.
The Petitioner has pleaded that, as a result, there were several technical glitches in accessing the new website. The Petitioner has pleaded that this technical error continued beyond September 2021. As a result, the Petitioner was disabled from accessing the e-filing account until the first week of October 2021. The Petitioner has further pleaded that after numerous follow ups by the Petitioner to correct the amount payable by the Petitioner, the authorised representative of the Petitioner was informed that the Respondents had uploaded corrected and revised Form 3 dated 01.09.2021 in the Petitioner’s e-filing account on the new website of the respondents. The counsel for the petitioner submitted that there were technical glitches on account of migration from the old website to the new website. The factum of such technical glitches was in the public domain and even the newspaper reported about the same.
The counsel submitted that, as a result, the Petitioner could access the new website only in the first week of October 2021. Within 15 days of such access, the Petitioner promptly paid the demanded amount of 14,04,620/- within 15 days of the receipt of revised Form 3. He submitted that this was consistent with the provisions of Section 5(2) of the VsV Act. Directing the Income Tax Department to accept the petitioner’s declaration, a Division Bench comprising Justices M. S. Sonak and Valmiki Sa Menezes observed that “As noted above, even if the contention about technical glitches is kept aside, this is a matter where the Respondents themselves committed several errors in processing the Petitioner’s declaration in Form 1, which was made within the prescribed period and by due compliance with the prescribed procedure. This is a matter where the Petitioner withdrew her pending appeal. This is a matter where the Petitioner, in the first instance, determined the amount payable under the VsV Act correctly but had to struggle to get the Respondent’s determination corrected.”
“In this case, the extension, strictly speaking, may not even be necessary, given the factual position. Therefore, we do not propose to go into the larger issues about the power to condone etc., since the matter can be decided on a narrow factual base. However, even if it is considered that there was some marginal delay of 10 to 12 days, the Respondents, in the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case, were not justified in rejecting the Petitioner’s declaration or holding that the Petitioner’s declaration was null and void” the Court noted.