High Court declines to quash criminal proceedings u/s 276B, grants liberty to move discharge application

High Court declines to quash criminal proceedings u/s 276B for alleged non deposit of TDS, grants liberty to move discharge application before CJM Court

ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 2626 (2018) (11) HC

An application was moved before the High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing the complaint made under Section 276B of Income Tax Act, 1961 (the Act) for alleged failure to pay the tax deducted at source (TDS) to the credit of Central Government. The complaint was pending in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM).

The case of applicants was that the complaint filed with allegation that applicants had not deposited the amount of TDS to the account of Central Government was frivolous.

It is submitted that allegation made in the complaint was absolutely false as the applicants had already deposited total TDS amount online in two part which was evident from the Income Tax Challan / ITNS-281 Tax Payer Counterfoil issued by the bank produced along with the application. 

The Hon’ble High Court observed that the perusal of the material on record and looking into the facts of the case, it could not be said that no offence was made out against the applicants at this stage.

The High Court opined that all the submissions made at the bar, related to the disputed questions of fact, which cannot be adjudicated upon by the High Court under Section 482 Cr.PC.

Accordingly, the Court declined the prayer for quashing the entire criminal proceedings.

However, it was prayed that a liberty may be given to the applicants to appear before the court below (CJM court) to move discharge application and the court below may be directed to decide the discharge application within the stipulated period.

His Lordship was pleased to grant liberty to the applicants to appear before the court below through counsel to move discharge application within two weeks.. 

Accordingly, this application was disposed of with a direction to the CJM Court that in case the applicants appear within stipulated time and moves a discharge application, the same shall be considered and decided in accordance with law.

The High Court also directed that till the disposal of discharge application, no coercive action shall be taken against the applicants. 

It was also made clear that in case the applicants do not appear before the court below within the aforesaid period, no further time shall be given to them and Court may proceed in accordance with law.

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