I-T notice: Maran moves HC against single-judge order
The Madras High Court Friday restrained the Income Tax department till October 22 from proceeding further on the re-assessment of former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran's income for 2008-09 and 2009-10
A division bench of justices G Huluvadi Ramesh and K Kalyana Sundaram gave the oral direction when an appeal filed by Maran, challenging the October 10 single-judge order dismissing his petition filed against the I-T action, came up for hearing. Besides Maran, appeals have been filed by Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd and South Asia FM Limited, linked to his brother and media baron Kalanithi Maran, whose petitions against the I-T notices have also been dismissed.
When the appeals came up for hearing, senior counsels for the former minister apprehended that the I-T department might take "undue" advantage of the Dussera court holidays starting Saturday and issue assessment orders, making the appeals infructuous, and said the interest of the appellants had to be protected.
Opposing this, Additional Solicitor General G Rajagopalan argued that the single judge had rightly passed the order, adding that if the appellants were aggrieved, they had the option of approaching the appellate authority. The bench posted the appeals for further hearing to October 22.
In his order, Justice S M Subramaniam had said Maran, who held the high position of a Union minister, was duty bound to respond to the I-T department's notice to prove his innocence or otherwise. Maran had challenged the I-T department's March 27, 2015 notice, issued under section 148 of the Income Tax Act, for re-assessment of his income for 2008-09 and 2009-10, when he was the telecom minister.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has charged Maran with forcing Aircel owner C Sivasankaran to part with his stake in the company in favour of Malaysia's Maxis Communications Berhad when he was the telecom minister. Maran had pointed to his discharge in the case by a CBI court in New Delhi on February 2 last year in support of his plea for quashing the I-T notice.
Dismissing the plea, the judge had said the petition was filed at the notice stage itself, which would hamper all further proceedings of the I-T department and it could never be encouraged by the court. He had also concurred with the submissions of the I-T department's counsel that the petition could not be entertained by the high court as a remedy was available before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.
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