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Lala Harbhagwan Das/ Laksons vs. CIT (ITAT Delhi)
December, 17th 2013

CIT-DR’s behaviour termed “totally irresponsible, contemptuous and malicious”. Costs imposed & action for contempt of court to be initiated

In a rare and unfortunate incident of conflict between the Departmental Representatives and the Bench, the ITAT has passed severe strictures against the CIT-DR. Apparently he was not present in the court room when the matters were called out for hearing. Adjournment applications were also not filed. When he did appear, he was not prepared to argue the matter. When the Bench rejected his application for time and decided to hear the matter he alleged “in a malicious and contemptuous manner” that the “Bench is hurrying the justice and burying the justice”. After the hearing, he barged into the Chamber of the Sr. Member without permission and threatened that the Bench has insulted him and that he is going to lodge a complaint against them.

The Bench has stated that the unprovoked utterances from the CIT-DR has come as a shock to them and that it cannot be taken lightly. It stated that the CIT-DR is not aware of his responsibilities, court discipline, procedure and proper court mannerism. It has termed his accusation that the Bench was hurrying justice and burying the justice as being “totally irresponsible, contemptuous and malicious” and against the glaring facts and proceedings which happened in the open court. It has stated that the CIT-DR’s behaviour deserves to be visited with appropriate action to “inculcate sense of judicial discipline and awareness of responsibilities of duties and further to protect the dignity of the court, which stands offended by the contemptuous conduct” It has directed the CIT-DR to pay costs of Rs 1000 which should be deducted from his salary. The Registry has been directed to forward a copy of the order to the CCIT and the CBDT Chairman for appropriate action. It has also directed that separate and appropriate action for initiating contempt of court proceeding would be taken in due course.

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