Prosecution u/s 276CC quashed as accused age was more than 70 years at commission of offence

Prosecution u/s 276CC quashed as accused age was more than 70 years at the time of commission of offence as per CBDT Circular and as held by Supreme Court

ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 3163 (2019) (10) ITAT

Important case law relied upon by the parties:
Arun Kumar Bhatia v. Vijay Kumar

Prosecution u/s 276CC quashed as accused was more than 70 years old

In the instant case, a revision petition was filed before the Court of Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) by the accused revisionist against the impugned order passed by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) whereby the said Trial Court had framed notice U/s 251 Cr.P.C. against the revisionist for the offence punishable U/s 276-CC of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (the Act) for failure to furnish return of income.

The revisionist had filed return of income tax allegedly, after consider delay. Thereafter, a show cause notice U/s 279 (1) was given by Pr. CIT.

The Pr. CIT allegedly, after considering the facts had accorded purported sanction for the prosecution U/s 276-CC of the Act against the revisionist.

Before the Appellate Court, the Revisionist stated that the tax determined to be payable by the revisionist was found to be Nil. That notice for demand U/s 156 of the Income Tax Act, issued by the Department to the accused also demanded a sum of Rs. Nil, from the revisionist.

It was further stated that, as per the provision of the Section 276-CC of the Income Tax Act, if the tax payable by the tax payer, on the total income determined on regular assessment , as reduced by the advance tax, if any, paid and any tax deduced at source, does not exceed three thousand rupees then the tax payer shall not be proceeded against this section.

Also, it was further stated that revisionist was more than 70 years of age, at the time when the said alleged offence was committed. It is further stated that CBDT by its circular has directed that no prosecution for any offence shall be processed against any individual, if he has attained the aged of 70 years, at the time of commission of offence. It was stated that revisionist was allegedly 82 years old, at the time of the institution of the complaint, as per the case of the Department itself.

It was pleaded that impugned order, being contrary to settled law, was liable to be set aside and the notice framed under section 251 Cr.P.C. be quashed.

The Appellate Court observed that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in view of CBDT circular rejected the complaint case filed by the Department under section 276 CC of the Income Tax Act, 1961 against the petitioners.

The ASJ Court noted that the said Circular has directed that no prosecution for any offence shall be processed against any individual, if he has attained the aged of 70 years, at the time of commission of offence.

The ASJ opined that the fact that the revisionist was allegedly 82 years old, at the time of the institution of the complaint and the revisionist was above 70 years of age, at the time of alleged offence, had to be considered as it was a plausible one.

Accordingly, in view of the CBDT circular, the ASJ rejected the complaint filed by the Department under section 276-CC of the Act against the revisionist, pending adjudication, before the Trial Court and discharged the revisionist from all the charges.

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