S. 40A(3): There is a difference between “crossed cheque” and “account payee cheque”. Payment by crossed cheque attracts s. 40A(3) disallowance
The expression earlier used in s. 40A(3)(a) was a “crossed cheque or a crossed bank draft”. This was amended by the legislature to be replaced by the expression “an account payee cheque or account payee bank draft”. This was done in the background of the experience that even crossed cheques were being endorsed in favour of a person other than the drawee making it difficult to trace the constituent of the money.
To plug this possible loophole the requirement of section 40A(3) was made more stringent. If we accept the contention of counsel for the assessee that there was no distinction between a crossed cheque and an account payee cheque, we would be obliterating this amendment brought in the statute with specific purpose in mind. Accordingly, payment by a crossed cheque is subject to disallowance u/s 40A(3) (Anupam Tele Services vs. ITO distinguished)