A division bench of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), led by the Tribunal’s President Justice P.P. Bhatt, has, through web based video conferencing platform, heard and disposed of an urgent stay petition today. This is a first in the 79-year-old history of this Tribunal. The petition was heard by a two member bench of the ITAT Mumbai, comprising Justice Bhatt and Vice President, ITAT, Shri Pramod Kumar, through VC from their home offices since closure of the ITAT due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
The appellate, Solapur based Pandhes Infracon Pvt Ltd. had sought an extremely urgent hearing of its stay petition on a notice of recovery of Rs.2.91 crores dues by Income Tax, Mumbai office for Assessment Year 2010-11. The Company had earlier moved the Bombay High Court, but were directed to approach the ITAT first.
Granting the stay, the ITAT bench suspended all notices issued by the revenue authorities on the bankers and debtors of the Company. The Departmental representative, who was present during the course of hearing, was directed by the bench to inform the stay order to the Assessing Officer/Field Officer. The bench meanwhile directed the Company’s related appeal for hearing on out of turn basis will be taken up on 8th June 2020.
The ITAT benches based in 27 locations are equipped to hold similar hearings through VC on petitions made by assesses or revenue department on urgent matters as and when exigencies arise.