ITAT slams appellant in filing multiple appeals as abuse of process of Court, against the principles of Res Judicata and principles of Constructive Res Judicata
ABCAUS Neutral Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 3683 (2023) (03) ITAT
Important Case Laws relied upon by parties:
Devilal Modi vs. Sales Tax Officer AIR 1965 SC 1150
Karnataka v. All India Manufacturers Organisation  4 SCC 683
Greenhalgh v. Mallard  2 All ER 255 (CA)
State of U.P. v. Nawab Hussain  2 SCC 806
Direct Recruit Class II Engg. Officers’ Assn. v. State of Maharashtra  2 SCC 715
K.K. Modi v. K.N. Modi  3 SCC 573
In the instant case, appeal was filed by the assessee against the impugned order of CIT(A).
The assessment of the assessee was completed by the Assessing Officer (AO) accepting the returned income. Against the said assessment, an appeal was filed before the CIT(A) which came to be dismissed by the impugned order.
An appeal was filed before the ITAT against the order of the CIT(A). However, the appeal was dismissed as withdrawn.
However, the appellant moved a rectification petition u/s 154 of the Act before the CIT(A) against the impugned order. The CIT(A) allowed the petition u/s 154, consequent to which the claim for deduction u/s 80IB(10) came to be allowed in favour of the assessee.
This order of the CIT(A) allowing the petition u/s 154 was again challenged before the Tribunal by the Department and was allowed in favour of the Revenue.
Surprisingly, the assessee again filed the instant appeal against the impugned order of the CIT(A) with the delay of more than 2000 days.
Looking at the case history, the Tribunal opined that such a litigative adventure by the appellant was clearly against the principles of Res Judicata as well as principles of Constructive Res Judicata and principles analogous thereto.
The ITAT stated that the principles of Res Judicata are of universal application as it is based on two age old principles, namely, ‘interest reipublicae ut sit finis litium‘ which means that it is in the interest of the State that there should be an end to litigation and the other principle is ‘nemo debet his ve ari, si constetcuriae quod sit pro un aet eademn cause‘ meaning thereby that no one ought to be vexed twice in a litigation if it appears to the Court that it is for one and the same cause.
The Tribunal observed that the principle of finality of litigation is based on high principle of public policy. In the absence of such a principle great oppression might result under the colour and pretence of law in as much as there will be no end of litigation and a rich and malicious litigant will succeed in infinitely vexing his opponent by repetitive suits and actions. This may compel the weaker party to relinquish his right. That is why it is perceived that the plea of Res Judicata is not a technical doctrine but a fundamental principle which sustains the Rule of Law in ensuring finality in litigation.
The Tribunal went through a catena of jugments on the issue and observed that in view of authoritative pronouncement of the Constitution Bench of Hon’ble Supreme Court, there can be no doubt that the principles of Constructive Res Judicata as explained in the CPC, are also applicable to the appellant.
In the light of judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Tribunal opined that the adventure made by the appellant in filing the instant appeal, was nothing but abuse of process of Court.
As a result, the appeal filed by the assessee was dismissed. The assessee was lucky in that he was not subjected to a cost.
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