S. 234D does not apply to an assessment year commencing pre 1.6.2003 if the assessment order is passed prior to that date
For AY 1998-99, the AO passed an assessment order prior to 01.06.2003 in which interest u/s 234D was not levied. The assessee filed an appeal against the said order on certain other issues and in giving effect to the order of the appellate authority, the AO levied interest u/s 234D on the ground that excess refund had been allowed u/s 143(1) than what the assessee was entitled to u/s 143(3). The Tribunal allowed the assessee’s appeal by relying on Exta Promoters 305 ITR (AT) 1 where it was held that as s. 234D was inserted with effect from 1.6.2003, it did not apply to earlier assessment years. The department’s appeal was dismissed by the High Court (order included) by relying on its own judgement in the case of Delta Airlines 245 CTR 16 (Bom) (order included). On appeal by the department to the Supreme Court HELD dismissing the appeal:
Explanation 2 to s. 234D makes it clear that the provisions of the section shall not apply to an assessment year commencing before the 1st day of June, 2003 if the proceedings in respect of such assessment year is completed before the said date. As the assessment order in the present case was passed before 1.6.2003, the question of retrospectivity of s. 234D does not arise.