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September 14, 2022

Income Tax appeal cannot be heard during continuance of IBC proceedings

by CA Shivam Jaiswal in Income Tax, Legal Court Judgement

Income Tax appeal cannot be heard during continuance of IBC proceedings

Facts and Issue of the Case

At the outset, it is represented by both the sides that the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Proceedings (CIRP) are pending against the assessee and as of now, Hon’ble National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) is seized with the jurisdiction.

Observation by the Court

The court had considered the issue in the light of the provisions of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and the decision of the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Ghanashyam Mishra And Sons vs Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction (2021) 126 taxmann.com 132 (SC). Under section 13 of the Code, the adjudicating authority after admission of the application under section 7 or 9 or 10 of the Code shall declare a moratorium which shall include the prohibition of the institution of suits or continuation of pending suits or proceedings against the corporate debtor in any court of law or tribunal. In Ghanashyam Mishra And Sons (supra), it was held that, (i) That once a resolution plan is duly approved by the Adjudicating Authority under sub section (1) of Section 31, the claims as provided in the resolution plan shall stand frozen and will be binding on the Corporate Debtor and its employees, members, creditors, including the Central Government, any State Government or any local authority, guarantors and other stakeholders. On the date of approval of resolution plan by the Adjudicating Authority, all such claims, which are not a part of resolution plan, shall stand extinguished and no person will be entitled to initiate or continue any proceedings in respect to a claim, which is not part of the resolution plan; (ii) 2019 amendment to Section 31 of the I&B Code is clarificatory and declaratory in nature and therefore will be effective from the date on which I&B Code has come into effect; and (iii) Consequently all the dues including the statutory dues owed to the Central Government, any State Government or any local authority, if not part of the resolution plan, shall stand extinguished and no proceedings in respect of such dues for the period prior to the date on which the Adjudicating Authority grants its approval under Section 31 could be continued.

A reading of the provisions under section 13 and 14 of the Code along with the decision in Ghanashyam Mishra And Sons (supra), clearly shows that once the proceedings have commenced by institution of application under section 7 or 9 or 10 of the Code, the continuance of the pending proceedings is prohibited and when once they reach the logical conclusion with due approval of the resolution plan by the Adjudicating Authority under sub section (1) of Section 31, the claims as provided in the resolution plan shall stand frozen and will be binding on the Corporate Debtor and its employees, members, creditors, including the Central Government, any State Government or any local authority, guarantors and other stakeholders.

At any rate, for the time being, this appeal cannot be proceeded with during the continuance of the proceedings under the Code. However, depending upon the result of such proceedings before the adjudicating authority in respect of the corporate debtor, appropriate steps if any, may be taken by the appellant/respondent. The court , therefore, granting leave to the appellant/respondent in this appeal to seek the restoration of the appeal, if necessitated by the orders in the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Proceedings, dismiss the appeal in limine. The court derive support for the above proposition from the decision of the Mumbai Bench of the Tribunal in the case of Mahavir Roads & Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.,

Conclusion

The appeal of Revenue is dismissed by the court.

DCIT-Vs-Neueon-Towers-Limited-ITAT-Hyderabad

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