COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX (TDS) Vs. ARK CORPORATION
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX (TDS)
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(1.) 2002 relevant for the asst. yr. 1998 -99.
(2.) The assessee had deducted tax at source but had issued the TDS certificate late. On this basis, the Revenue sought to impose a penalty upon the assessee under the provisions of s. 272A(2)(g) of the IT Act, 1961.
(3.) The Tribunal relied upon a decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Hindustan Steel Ltd. vs. State of Orissa (1972) 83 ITR 26 (SC), wherein the Supreme Court observed as follows :
"... An order imposing penalty for failure to carry out a statutory obligation is the result of a quasi -criminal proceeding, and penalty will not ordinarily be imposed unless the party obliged, either acted deliberately in defiance of law or was guilty of conduct contumacious or dishonest, or acted in conscious disregard of its obligation. Penalty will not also be imposed merely because it is lawful to do so. Whether penalty should be imposed for failure to perform a statutory obligation is a matter of discretion of the authority to be exercised judicially and on a consideration of all the relevant circumstances. Even if a minimum penalty is prescribed, the authority competent to impose the penalty will be justified in refusing to impose penalty, when there is a technical or venial breach of the provisions of the Act or where the breach flows from a bona fide belief that the offender is not liable to act in the manner prescribed by the statute...." ;
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