The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment on preliminary objections filed by the income tax department on writ petitions by chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his family, challenging transfer of their tax return cases out of the state.
A division bench comprising chief justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan passed these orders after hearing arguments of the income tax department.
The chief minister and his family had challenged the orders of the income tax commissioner to transfer their cases to Chandigarh on the ground of conducting coordinated and joint investigation in all cases.
They had stated that the coordinated and joint investigation of all cases could be done in Shimla also and there was no need to transfer the cases to Chandigarh as this would only result in harassment to them. Earlier,the bench Aug 4 stayed an order of the income tax commissioner of Shimla to transfer their cases relating to investigations to Chandigarh.
Counsel for the income tax department, in his objections, contended that the petitioners have filed the petitions with a motive of delaying investigations into the tax returns.
"The writ petition is not maintainable as no legal right of the petitioner has been infringed and the income tax commissioner has only acted in exercise of his statutory duties."
He said that the petitioners were heard before passing of the orders and they have option to file appeal against his orders.
The income tax commissioner, in his orders, had said the agricultural income had dramatically increased in the revised return, which was an apparent attempt to justify the investments made in the purchase of insurance policies.
The assesses had close relations and business dealings amongst themselves and with businessman Vakamulla Chandrashekhar and his company Tarini Infrastructure Ltd, which require coordinated and joint investigations in all cases.
He had transferred all the cases to deputy commissioner of income tax of central circle in Chandigarh, saying that centralisation of cases would enable department to conduct focused, synchronized and coordinated investigation.
Himachal Pradesh ,High Court ,chief minister, Virbhadra Singh ,chief justice Mansoor,Ahmad Mir and justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan ,news,hindustantimes