Published on: September 9, 2021, at 13:14 IST
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday stayed an Order by Ludhiana Court allowing the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) to inspect a judicial file related to an income tax charge filed against Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and his son Raninder Singh.
“The information is available in court records and there is no such tearing hurry which would require respondent no.2 (ED) to get its hands on it immediately,” the Court stated.
The Order was issued by Justice G S Sandhawalia during the hearing of the CM’s appeal challenging the September 18, 2020 decisions.
The petitioners also contested the September 2, 2021 Judgment of the Revisional Court, which affirmed the JMFC’s Order allowing the inspection.
Senior counsel Akshay Bhan and Siddharth Aggarwal, as well as advocates G S Bedi, Amandeep Singh, and Pawandeep Singh, for the petitioners, claimed that the information was received in the form of master-sheets by the Director-General of the Income Tax (Investigation) Chandigarh.
The competent authority — the Foreign Tax and Tax Research (FT&TR) division of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) — had previously received the same from Paris (France) on June 28, 2011, as per the provisions of Article 28 of the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) between India and France.
Even though there is no summons order, the Revisional Court has ordered the parties to appear before the Trial Court on September 9, 2021, although the orders authorizing inspection would require a re-look.
The Bench ordered the income tax department and the ED to issue notices and stated,“The order of inspection of the documents dated September 18, 2020, and the order dated September 2, 2021, upholding the same, would have to be stayed, during the pendency of the proceedings and it is so ordered. It is further clarified that the petitioners need not put in appearance before the trial court.”
As the action has already been stayed on the application by the I-T department, the High Court ordered that the original record be requested so that parties can help on all legal issues.
Meanwhile, the HC has ordered that all other proceedings relating to the case be postponed until November 18, 2021.