Special Provisions for Avoiding Repetitive Appeals

special-provisions-for-avoiding-repetitive-appeals
Special Provisions for Avoiding Repetitive Appeals

Chapter XIV-A

Repetitive appeals on similar issues at various appellate for a have led to significant increase in the number of cases and huge drain of productive judicial and executive resources. To eliminate the need to decide on similar issues pertaining the same assessee, Finance Act 2015, inserted Sec 158A and Sec 158AA where the rationale, to be pronounced in existing cases need not be further litigated in pending appeals of subsequent years.

Sec – 158A: Procedure when assessee claims identical question of law is pending before High Court or Supreme Court.
(1) Declaration by Assessee: Where an assessee claims that any question of law arising in his case for an assessment year which is pending before the Assessing Officer or any appellate authority is identical with a question of law arising in his case for another assessment year which is pending before:

  • High Court on a reference u/s 256 or
  • Supreme Court on a reference u/s 257 or
  • an appeal u/s 260A before the High Court or
  • an appeal u/s 261 before the Supreme Court

he may furnish to the Assessing Officer or the appellate authority, a declaration in Form 8 (Rule 16), that if the Assessing Officer or the appellate authority, agrees to apply in the relevant case the final decision on the question of law in the other case, he shall not raise such question of law in the relevant case in appeal before any appellate authority or any High Court or Supreme Court.
(2) Report from Assessing Officer: Where a declaration u/s 158A(1) is furnished to any appellate authority, the appellate authority shall call for a report from the Assessing Officer on the correctness of the claim made by the assessee and, where the Assessing Officer makes a request to the appellate authority to give him an opportunity of being heard in the matter, the appellate authority shall allow him such opportunity.
(3) Order of the Assessing Officer or the appellate authority: The Assessing Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, may, by order in writing,—
admit the claim of the assessee if he or it is satisfied that the question of law arising in the relevant case is identical with the question of law in the other case; or
reject the claim if he or it is not so satisfied.
(4) Admission of claim: Where a claim is admitted u/ss (3),—
(a) the Assessing Officer or the appellate authority may make an order disposing of the relevant case without awaiting the final decision on the question of law in the other case; and
(b) the assessee shall not be entitled to raise, in relation to the relevant case, such question of law in appeal before any appellate authority or Court.
(5) Application of decision: When the decision on the question of law in the other case becomes final, it shall be applied to the relevant case and the Assessing Officer or the appellate authority, shall, if necessary, amend the order referred u/ss (4) conformably to such decision.
(6) Order to be final: An order u/ss (3) shall be final and shall not be called in question in any proceeding by way of appeal, reference or revision under this Act.

Sec 158AA- Procedure when in an appeal by revenue an identical question of law is pending before Supreme Court.
(1) Application by Assessing Officer: Where the Commissioner or Principal Commissioner is of the opinion that any question of law arising in the case of an assessee for any assessment year is identical with a question of law arising in his case for another assessment year which is pending before:

  • the Supreme Court, in an appeal u/s 261
  • in a special leave petition under article 136 of the Constitution, against the order of the High Court in favour of the assessee

he may, instead of directing the Assessing Officer to appeal to the Appellate Tribunal u/s 253(2)/(2A), direct the Assessing Officer to make an application to the Appellate Tribunal in the prescribed form within 60 days from the date of receipt of the order of the Commissioner (Appeals) stating that an appeal on the question of law arising in the relevant case may be filed when the decision on the question of law becomes final in the other case.
(2) Acceptance by Assessee: The Commissioner or Principal Commissioner shall direct the Assessing Officer to make an application u/ss (1) only if an acceptance is received from the assessee to the effect that the question of law in the other case is identical to that arising in the relevant case; and
In case no such acceptance is received, the Commissioner or Principal Commissioner shall proceed in accordance with Sec 253(2)/(2A).
(3) Order of the CIT(A): Where the order of the Commissioner (Appeals) referred to u/ss (1) is not in conformity with the final decision on the question of law in the other case, the Commissioner or Principal Commissioner may direct the Assessing Officer to appeal to the Appellate Tribunal against such order and save as otherwise provided in this section all other provisions of Part B of Chapter XX shall apply accordingly.
(4) Time limit: Every appeal u/ss (3) shall be filed within 60 days from the date on which the order of the Supreme Court in the other case is communicated to the Commissioner or Principal Commissioner.

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