The Allahabad High Court has awarded 7-day imprisonment to the Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, Range-2, Lucknow for Contempt of Court. The Court has also imposed a fine of Rs. 25000 on the officer.

The bench of Justice Irshad Ali passed the Order on the contempt plea filed by one Prashant Chandra.

In this case, a division bench of the High Court had quashed a notice issued to the petitioner - applicant for the assessment year 2012-13 on the ground of jurisdictional error.

The Court had directed the opposite party to delete all the outstanding amount from the web portal showing the dues to be paid.

The Assessing Officer in spite of direction issued for consequential action, permitted to continue the outstanding amount for a period of seven months on the web portal and when the Court made query in the present contempt application in regard to consequential benefits granted to the applicant - petitioner, only then it was deleted from the web portal.

Advocate Mudit Agarwal appeared for the petitioner whereas Advocate Manish Mishra appeared for the Contemnor-opposite party.

"…it is crystal clear that notice issued by the Assessing Officer was quashed on the ground of jurisdiction as well as consequential orders were also directed to be set-aside. Meaning thereby, the Assessing Officer has to take care that the entry existing on the web portal was to be deleted immediately after passing of the judgment and order dated 31.03.2015 but deliberately and intentionally the outstanding of notice of assessment year 2011- 12 became operative on the web portal till seven months, which ruined the reputation of the applicant…", the Court noted.

The Court observed that this action of the opposite party is deliberate in nature, for which he is liable to be punished.

"In the opinion of this Court, the action of the opposite party is not only contemptuous but is also malicious. He took care with the money of the applicant in spite of clear direction of this Court and there is no justifiable reason for the said action.", the Court noted.

The Court held the Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, Range-2, Lucknow to be guilty under Section 12 of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

Thus, the Court imposed a fine of Rs. 25000 while awarding one week imprisonment to the Income Tax officer.

The Court has directed the opposite party-contemnor to surrender before the Senior Registrar of the Court at 03.00 p.m. on December 22, 2022.

Cause Title- Prashant Chandra v. Harish Gidwani Deputy Commissioner Of Income Tax Range

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