Case before High Court to be heard by not less than two Judges [Section 260B]:
An appeal shall lie to the High Court for every order passed in appeal by the Appellate Tribunal, if the High Court is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law.
1. Writ to High Courts:
In may instances where power to file appeal is not given by the Act, the assessee/commissioners can file writ petition to the High Court.
2. Procedure for Filing Appeal:
The Principal Chief Commissioner or Chief Commissioner/ Principal Commissioner or Commissioner or assessee aggrieved by any order passed by the Appellate Tribunal may file an appeal to the High Court.
The appeal should be filed within 120 days from the date on which the order appealed against received by the assessee or the Principal Chief Commissioner or Chief Commissioner/Principal Commissioner or Commissioner.
It should be accompanied by such fee as may be specified in the relevant law relating to Court fees for filing appeals to the High Court.
It should be in the form of a memorandum of appeal precisely stating therein the substantial question of law involved.
Condonation of delay: The Finance Act, 2010 has inserted section 260A(2A) in the Income-tax Act w.r.e.f. 1.10.1998. According to section 260A(2A), the High Court may admit an appeal after the expiry of the period of 120 days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing the same within that period.
3. Procedure in Hearing Appeal:
If the High Court is satisfied that a substantial question of law is involved in any case, it shall formulate that question.
The appeal shall be heard only on the question so formulated, and the respondents shall, at the hearing of the appeal, be allowed to argue that the case does not involve such question. However the High Court may, for reasons to be recorded, hear the appeal on any other substantial question of law not formulated by it, if it is satisfied that the case involves such question.
The High Court shall decide the question of law so formulated and deliver such judgment thereon containing the grounds on which such decision is founded and may award such cost as it deems fit. At the time of hearing, the High Court can formulate other substantial questions of law not formulated earlier and can hear such questions on reasons to be recorded. [Indian Additives Ltd v Dy. CIT (2012) 67 DTR 389 (Mad)].
The High Court may determine any issue which:
(a) has not been determined by the Appellate Tribunal; or
(b) has been wrongly determined by the Appellate Tribunal on such substantial question of law.
The relevant provisions of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 shall apply mutatis mutandis to appeals under section 260A to the High Court.
4. Case before High Court to be heard by not less than two Judges [Section 260B]:
When an appeal has been filed before the High Court under section 260A, it shall be heard by a bench of not less than two Judges of the High Court, and shall be decided in accordance with the opinion of such Judges or of the majority, if any, of such judges. Where there is no such majority, the Judges shall state the point of law upon which they differ and the case shall then be heard upon that point only by one or more of the other judges of the High Court and such point shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority of the Judges who have heard the case including those who first heard it.
Where the High Court delivers a judgment in an appeal filed before it under section 260A, effect shall be given to the order passed on the appeal by the Assessing Officer on the basis of a certified copy of judgment.
Review or recall of the order passed by High Court: The High Court has power to recall its order if sufficient cause is shown and the fact that the order was passed on merits makes no difference.
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