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Flipkart couldn’t be directed to deposit 15% of demand without examining its case of genuine hardship

March 15, 2017[2017] 79 159 (Karnataka)

IT : Circular No. 1914 deals with collection and recovery of income tax, however it does not standardize the quantum of lumpsum payment required to be made by asssessee as a pre-condition of stay of disputed demand before Commissioner (Appeals). Circular dated 29-2-2016 being a partial modification of Circular No. 1914 merely prescribes the percentage of the disputed demand that needs to be deposited by assessee. Thus, although process for granting stay was streamlined, and standardized by Circular dated 29-2-2016 but it could not mean that Instruction No. 2-B(iii) contained in Circular No. 1914 dealing with situation of unreasonably high pitched or dealing with situation of genuine hardship caused to assessee was erased by Circular dated 29-2-2016, therefore, both these factors should have been considered by both, Assessing Officer as well as Principal Commissioner before requiring the assessee to deposit 15 per cent of the disputed demand amount

• Thus, where Principal Commissioner failed to consider whether assessment orders suffer from being unreasonably high pitched or whether any genuine hardship would be caused to assessee in case assessee was required to deposit 15 per cent of disputed demand amount, impugned order requiring assessee to deposit 15 per cent of disputed demand amount was legally unsustainable.

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