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Madhukar B. Thakoor vs. ITAT (Bombay High Court)
May, 16th 2015

ITAT Members should maintain patience. Sobriety and restraint in judicial conduct is of paramount importance. They should refrain from passing any adverse remarks or making harsh comments on the conduct of the parties

The Tribunal dismissed the Miscellaneous Application filed by the assessee with the remarks that “the learned counsel … proceeded to make stale and sterile submissions in an attempt to somehow support and justify the miscellaneous applications filed by the assessees. This attempt, in our opinion, clearly amounts to misuse of process of Law. The filing of these frivolous miscellaneous applications by the assessees seeking rectification of the order of the Tribunal which is clearly beyond the scope of section 254(2) and the stale and sterile submissions made by the learned counsel for the assessee in support thereof thus have resulted in wastage of the precious time of the Tribunal which, in our opinion, justify imposition of cost on the assessee. We, therefore, dismiss these miscellaneous applications filed by the assessee being devoid of any merit and impose a cost of Rs. 5,000/- on each of the assessee.” On a Writ Petition filed by the assessee HELD by the High Court:

(i) Repeatedly, the Hon’ble Supreme Court cautioned the Presiding Officer of the Courts and Tribunals from adversely commenting and remarking on the conduct of parties or their representatives or pleaders. If these comments and remarks, adversely affecting them are not required for the decision of a case and it could be justly and fairly reached on the basis of material produced and the arguments canvassed, then, the Courts and Tribunals should refrain from passing any adverse remarks or making harsh comments on the conduct of the parties. Sobriety and restraint in judicial conduct is of paramount importance. Even if the Presiding Officer, members of the Tribunal are agitated by prolong arguments and often needless, still they must not lose patience and to a extent as to comment upon the conduct of the Advocates or representatives. That must been avoided as it would be a reflection on the working of the Tribunal as a whole. While not making any further reference to the judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, we would only invite attention of the members of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal to the following observations in the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of The State of Uttar Pradesh V/s. Mohammad Naim reported in A.I.R. 1964 Supreme Court, 703. These read as under ……

(ii) In the light of above, we delete and expunge all the remarks which have been made against the representative and the parties. Thus, the above reproduced passage or lines from the order particularly para 17 above shall stand expunged and deleted. This would also include deletion of the direction to pay costs. The imposition thereof is accordingly set aside.

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