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Manipur High Court disposes of a PIL seeking direction to the central board of direct taxes

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The Manipur High Court disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed seeking direction to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to issue an order under Section 119 extending the date to 31st December 2023 for compliances of the Income Tax Act, 1962 with regards to the financial year 2022-23 (Assessment Year 2023-2024), for the income-tax assesses in the State of Manipur in view of the prevailing situation.

The PIL further seeks direction to the respondents to exempt assesses/taxpayers of the State of Manipur from the penalties imposed under the Income Tax Act of 1962 in filing their tax returns with regards to the financial year 2022-2023 (Assessment Year 2023-2024) after the expiry of the due date of 31st July 2023 till the pendency of the said petition.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Golmei Gaiphulshillu Kabui observed that the petition has been filed without approaching the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to consider grant of the reliefs prayed for in the proceeding.

In this behalf, the Bench attention is invited to the affidavit-in-reply filed on behalf of the Income Tax Department by the Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, Circle-Imphal, and paragraph 16 of which, reads as follows :

“16. That without prejudice to above, it is humbly submitted that such taxpayers who have not been able to file their ITRs for AY 2023-24 which was due on 31.07.2023 within the period which the Broadband was available from 25.07.2023 to 31.07.2023 and have filed after 31.07.2023 may exercise the option of approaching the CBDT u/s 119(2)(b) of the Income-Tax Act, 1961, which could be considered on case-to-case basis.”

In view of the foregoing, senior counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners, seeks leave to withdraw this PIL, with liberty to approach the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), in the first instance in relation to the reliefs prayed for in this proceeding . The same is granted by the High Court.

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