Sunday, January 20, 2013

SG- Case Law, a glaring instance of infructuous litigation>

To reject view taken in earlier assessment years, there must be material change in the fact, situation or in law

Prima facie, any such deviation attempted by the assessing authority as in the instant case, if permitted, might lead to chaos and confusioin in making a proper asessment ; not just confined to the year of deviation but for years to follow as well. In saying so, one has in mind like cotroversies, THOUGH AVOIDABLE EVEN FROM A COMMONN SENSE POINT OF VIEW, repeatedly used to arise and taken to courts for adjudication on the aspect of any change in the ‘method of valuation’ of stock-in-trade.Albeit, in the ultimate analysis, entailing no loss to the revenue,- barring the socalled timing difference.
In this context, one is perforce reminded of the ageold doctrine, applicable to the judicial concept of “precedent” , -known as, “STARE DECISIS”, which courts, more often than not, consider prudent to go by/follow, unless absolutely warranted in a given case, with identical factual matrix, coming up for adjudication at a later point in time. For a detailed discussion thereof, the SC judgment in the case of Azadi Bachao Andolan may be read.

Citation of the SC case,- UoI v Azadi Bachao Andolan (2003) 263 ITR 706. It may be interesting to observe that, the doctrine of STARE DECISIS itself has come under a cloud because of a contra view in another SC case, - Distributors (Baroda) (P) Ltd. v UoI (1985) 155 ITR 120,122. That was dealt with in the article – 166 Taxman 72 (Mag).

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