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CIT vs. Meghalaya Steels Ltd (Supreme Court)
August, 19th 2015

In an appeal under s. 260A, the Guwahati passed an order (332 ITR 91) in which it held that transport subsidies and other incentives were not eligible for relief u/s 80-IB. The assessee filed a review petition (358 ITR 551) in which it contended that the High Court had gone on to answer the questions without first framing substantial questions of law. The High Court allowed the review petition and recalled the judgement.

Thereafter, it passed a judgement (CIT v. Meghalaya Steels Ltd. [2013] 356 ITR 235) in which it held that the said transport subsidies and other incentives were eligible for relief u/s 80-IB. The department argued before the Supreme Court that under section 260A (7), only those provisions of the Civil Procedure Code could be looked into for the purposes of Section 260A as were relevant to the disposal of appeals, and since the review provision contained in the Code of Civil Procedure is not so referred to, the High Court would have no jurisdiction under Section 260A to review such judgment. HELD by the Supreme Court dismissing the appeal:

High Courts being Courts of Record under Art. 215 of the Constitution of India, the power of review would in fact inhere in them. This was in fact so decided in a slightly different context while dealing with the power of review of writ petitions filed under Art.226 by a judgment reported in AIR 1963 SC 1909 5 (Shivdeo Singh & Ors. Vs. State of Punjab and Ors.). It is also clear that on a cursory reading of Section 260A (7), the said Section does not purport in any manner to curtail or restrict the application of the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure. Section 260A(7) only states that all the provisions that would apply qua appeals in the Code of Civil Procedure would apply to appeals under Section 260A. That does not in any manner suggest either that the other provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure are necessarily excluded or that the High Court’s inherent jurisdiction is in any manner affected.

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