JDA blatantly defying HC orders on payment of Rs 22 crore Income Tax

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March 29:Sending a message that it has no respect for the laws laid down by the Parliament and directives of the judiciary, Jammu Development Authority (JDA) is not coming forward to pay Rs 44 crore income tax, which is due during the past several years. The Authority is dragging its feet despite the fact that it has lost the case on the payment of tax in the Supreme Court of India as well as in the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir.
Official sources told  that some years back the Income Tax Department J&K Circle issued notices to the Jammu Development Authority (JDA) asking it to pay tax on the income being generated through its different commercial activities. On this subject, the JDA entered into legal battle with the Income Tax Department and finally the same reached the Supreme Court of India.
While JDA’s stand was that it doesn’t fall under the purview of Income Tax Act, the Income Tax Department was of the saying that since JDA is conducting commercial activities it’s income becomes taxable.
After detailed proceedings spread over very long span of time, the Supreme Court finally decided the case in the favour of Income Tax Department by mentioning that JDA is like any other regular assessee of the Income Tax Department and it is liable to pay tax on income being generated through its different activities.
When the case came back to the J&K Circle of Income Tax Department, the concerned authorities of the department after following all the procedural formalities raised a demand of Rs 44 crore income tax and accordingly issued notice to the Jammu Development Authority, sources said. However, the JDA took shelter under an interim direction issued by the J&K High Court in a connected matter and refused to pay the tax.
Accordingly, the case again reached the State High Court and Income Tax Department through its counsel submitted that since JDA has already lost the case before the Supreme Court, it has no other alternative but to pay Rs 44 crore tax.
Few days back, the Division Bench of J&K High Court comprising Chief Justice N Paul Vasantha-kumar and Justice Tashi Rabstan again decided the case in the favour of Income Tax Department. However, keeping in view the arguments advanced by the counsel for the JDA, the DB gave some sort of relief to the Authority.
“The appellant (JDA) is directed to deposit 50% of the demand amount in all the connected matters before the Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, Aaykar Bhawan, Jammu within a period of four weeks failing which the interim direction shall automatically stand vacated”, the DB directed.
Accordingly, the Income Tax Department approached the Vice-Chairman of JDA, Mubarak Singh and handed him over the demand of Rs 22 crore income tax strictly as per the directions of the High Court, sources said. However, the JDA has not ensured compliance to the directives till date and is dragging its feet on payment of income tax despite losing case in the Supreme Court and explicit directives of J&K High Court.
“In this way, instead of becoming partner to the nation’s development by contributing to the collection of taxes, Jammu Development Authority (JDA) is acting as stumbling block”, sources said while disclosing that every single penny being paid by the assessees of the Income Tax Department is returned to the State in the shape of share from the Central Pool of Direct Taxes.
Sources in the Civil Secretariat told that the battle between JDA and Income Tax Department has reached to the notice of senior officers of Governor’s Adminis-tration and directions to JDA for payment of income tax are likely tomorrow when senior functionaries of State Government would discuss the issue with JDA Vice-Chairman and officers of the Income Tax Department.
“The Income Tax Department is in strong legal position and JDA has no other option but to pay income tax”, sources said.

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