2. Damodaran Committee Report: Impact on Impulsive Law Making
'Impulsive Law Making' - Pending a close reading of the subject report, the special committee is seen to have pinpointed and sharply focused on as to why Consultative approach for law making IS IMPERATIVE.
Following / taking cues from an out-of-box view, wish to stress that, likewise, but in no small measure,'Impulsive adjudication' is strongly objectionable and hence requires to be eschewed in the overall public interest, - not only in the interests of the individual parties to any case taken up to a court for adjudication' . To be precise, in one's well - thought -out / logically founded long conviction, extraneous individual human nature such as 'emotions' , for instance, ought not come into play in court adjudication.
As is recalled, there has been a growing thinking and belief that old case law must be given a quietus/ ignored, if that is justified should regard be had to the so called 'modern day' practices and life style, - not barring such practices as are not compatible with what the law, in letter and spirit, clearly ordains.
Looking back, in a tax case, the apex court had an occasion to go into the aforesaid aspect and voice ints opinion against the undesirability of the jurists/judiciary being driven by and influenced by an 'emotional' approach and 'moral' considerations.Suggest to go through the judgment in re. T A Quereshi v CIT (2006) 287 ITR 547; and the own study thereof vide the published article in, - (2007) 160 Taxman 145.
Based on hopes on hopes, one is entitled to believe that, no right-thinking person, especially having a truthful experience and exposure to the matter of adjudication on issues, more so those having a passion to keep self updated and thereby remain ideally 'euipped', might not have failed to take a conscious/anxious note of some of the recent opinions handed down by the apex court of the land.
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<> T A Quereshi v CIT (2006) 287 ITR 547; and the own study thereof vide the published article in, - (2007) 160 Taxman 145.
APEX COURT’S OBSERVATIONS
3. On further appeal, the Apex Court has held that the view taken by the High Court cannot be sustained, on the ground of the following observations:
". . . The High Court has adopted an emotional and moral approach rather than a legal approach. We fully agree with the High Court that the assessee was committing a highly immoral act in illegally manufacturing and selling heroin. However, cases are to be decided by the Courts on legal principles and not on one’s own moral views. . . ." [Para 15]
Presumably, the cited observations are not intended to be read and understood in isolation, without having due regard to the context. Coming from the highest Court of the land, they ought not to be, for obvious reasons, construed to have thrown up any doubt on, or undermined, the commonly ingrained faith or belief that the so-called legal principles, to be worthy of such a description, need to be founded on moral principles. For, legal principles sans moral sanction or overtone might, from the point of view of public interest and social good, prove nothing but useless tinsel.
Of course, as to what precisely are the legal principles, that the Apex Court refers to or would have had in mind, is not discernible from a plain reading of the judgment. By inference, however, what the Court has meant to say is that in deciding the subject issue, the relevant propositions thus far settled by case law ought to have been kept in view and taken into account by the High Court. Some such settled propositions may be set out as under:
u The Court ought not, under any circumstances, substitute its own impressions, ideas or notions of justice in place of the legislative intent as are available from a plain reading of the statutory provisions.
u The taint of illegality or wrongdoing associated with income, profits or gains is immaterial for the purpose of taxation.
u Income-tax law is not necessarily restricted in its application to lawful businesses only. Profits from an illegal activity
are equally chargeable, and as such, losses arising therefrom are allowable.
The extract from the Apex Court’s judgment of the relevant paragraphs furnished above, ostensibly throws light on the aforesaid aspect :