Gujarat HC directs Department to attend technical glitch issues on Income Tax Portal at the earliest
Fact and Issue of the case
By this writ application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the writ applicant has prayed for the following reliefs:
“(a) Your Lordships may be pleased to pass a Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ, Order or direction, directing the Respondent No. “1” and/or “2” to extend the due date of filing of Tax Audit Report and the Income Tax Returns for the assessment year 2021-2022 till March 31, 2022;
(b) To issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction, directing the respondents not to levy interest under section 234A till the revised due dates provided vide Circular No.17/2021 dated 09.09.2021;
(c) Your Lordships may be pleased to pass a Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ, Order or direction to issue appropriate directions to authorities for accepting the TAR and/ or ITR in physical form till the New Income Tax Portal stabilizes and becomes glitch free;
(d) Your Lordships may be pleased to pass a Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ, Order or direction to not invoke Section 271B for late filing of the audit report and the physical filing be sufficient compliance of the Section;
(e) Pending admission, hearing and final disposal of this Petition, Your Lordships may be pleased to direct respondents to allow filing of TAR/ITR in physical form to jurisdictional authorities;
(f) Your Lordships may be pleased to grant any other relief or reliefs’ as this Hon’ble Court may deem just, fit and expedient be granted in favour of the Petitioner.”
Observaton of the Court and Conclusion
Having regard to the stance of the CBDT as it emerges from the affidavit, we are convinced that no further adjudication is required in the present litigation. We appreciate the efforts put in by the CBDT to ensure that the assesses do not have to face any hardships or difficulties on account of the technical glitches in the portal.
We take notice of one pertinent feature emerging from the affidavit and i.e. the E-mail ID, which has been created to assist the filing of Tax Audit Report. A team of six members or if need be more are to examine and resolve the E-mails received at this E-mail ID. Our suggestion to Mr. Singh as well as to Mr. Krishnamurthy is that one such E-mail ID may also be created for the Income Tax Returns. Our suggestion has been graciously accepted by Mr. Singh and Mr. Krishnamurthy. They have assured that the needful shall be done in this regard also. In the overall view of the matter, we are convinced that with the cooperation of one and all, we have been able to resolve the controversy as regards the technical glitches in the Income Tax Portal.
At this stage, Mr. Hemani, the learned Senior Counsel submitted that by and large all issues can be said to have been taken care of with view of what has been stated in the affidavit except the issue as regards the levy of interest under Section 234A of the Income Tax Act. We do not intend to look into the above controversy in the present litigation as we are informed that one writ application as regards Section 234A is already pending before this High Court. This issue shall be looked into as and when the pending writ application is taken up for hearing by this Court. With the aforesaid, we close both the writ applications and dispose of the same accordingly. The affidavit, which has been filed today on behalf of the respondents Nos.1 and 2 shall be taken on record.