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Rajasthan HC Notice To Centre On Post Demonetisation Amendment to Income Tax Act

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The Rajasthan High Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre on a petition challenging amendment to the IT Act provisions post-demonetisation.

The petitioner, Deepak Maratha, had challenged the amendment, introduced post-demonetisation, which levied the penalty on undisclosed income from previous 30% to 60%. Admitting the petition, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice P S Bhati issued notice to the IT department seeking reply by April 15 barring the respondent from taking any coercive step against the petitioner.

The petitioner’s counsels had in the court termed the amendment and penalty levied on account of the amendment as irrational, arbitrary, unconstitutional and in violation of the Article 14.

Maratha’s counsel Mayank Taparia argued in the court that the petitioner had filed his IT return for the financial year 2016-17 making further additions on account of the cash deposit, accrued through cash sales. “Such cash deposits were treated as unexplained money by the IT department and applying the amendment in section 115 BBE retrospectively on his assessment for the financial year prior to the amendment, a penalty of 60% was levied on this money,” said Taparia.

It was also contended on behalf of the petitioner that the amendment had been introduced on December 15, 2016 after demonetization was announced and the penalty was levied on the petitioner for the assessment year 2016-17.    

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