Union of India v. Star Television News Limited
[Citation -2015-LL-0325]

Citation 2015-LL-0325
Appellant Name Union of India
Respondent Name Star Television News Limited
Court SUPREME COURT
Relevant Act Income-tax
Date of Order 25/03/2015
Judgment View Judgment
Keyword Tags settlement commission
Bot Summary: S) for c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32339/2013 for c/delay in filing SLP and appln. S) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 18944/2014 for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 18945/2014 for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 18946/2014 for c/delay in refiling SLP and appln. In all these special leave petitions filed by the Union of India, the correctness of judgment dated 07.08.2009 rendered by the Bombay High Court in a batch of writ petitions is questioned. The High Court, by a detailed judgment, found the aforesaid provisions to be violative of Article 14 etc but at the same time, it did not invalidate these petitions as the High Court was of the opinion that it was possible to read down the provisions of Section 245HA(1)(iv) in particular to avoid holding the provisions as unconstitutional. From the above discussion having arrived at a conclusion that fixing the cutoff date as 31st March, 2008 was arbitrary the provisions of Section 245HA(1)(iv) to that extent will be also arbitrary. We would have to read Section 245HA(1)(iv) to mean that in the event the application could not be disposed of for any reasons attributable on the part of the applicant who has made an application under Section 245C. Consequently only such proceedings would abate under Section 245HA(1)(iv). In all these appeals filed by the Union of India, the correctness of judgments dated 16.09.2014 and 23.09.2014 rendered by the Bombay High Court in a batch of writ petitions is questioned.


SUPREME COURT OF INDIA RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (C) No(s).27873/2010 (Arising out of impugned final judgment and order dated 07/08/2009 in WP No.952/2008 passed by High Court of Bombay) UNION OF INDIA Petitioner(s) VERSUS STAR TELEVISION NEWS LIMITED Respondent(s) (Office report) WITH SLP(C) No.19956/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No.19968/2010 (With appln.(s) for directions and Office Report) SLP(C) No.19969/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No.19970/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No.19972/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No.19973/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No.19974/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19975/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19976/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19977/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19978/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19979/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19981/2010 (Permission to file rejoinder affidavit and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19982/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19983/2010 Signature Not Verified (With Office Report) Digitally signed by Satish Kumar Yadav Date: 2015.04.29 SLP(C) No. 19984/2010 16:12:42 IST Reason: (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19985/2010 (With Office Report) 2 SLP(C) No. 19986/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19987/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19988/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19989/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19990/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19991/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19992/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19993/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19994/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19995/2010 (With appln.(s) for directions and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19996/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19997/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19998/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19999/2010 (With appln.(s) for directions and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20000/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20002/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20003/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20004/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 24005/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 24006/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 25057/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 25551/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 25552/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 25553/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 25554/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 25555/2010 (With Office Report) 3 SLP(C) No. 26856/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 26857/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 26858/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 26859/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 26860/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 26861/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 26862/2010 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 28174/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 28175/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 28177/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 28178/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 28179/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 28180/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 28181/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and permission to file additional documents and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 28182/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 28184/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 28185/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 28186/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 30198/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 30199/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 30200/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 30201/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 30203/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 30204/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 30206/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) 4 SLP(C) No. 30209/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 30210/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32538/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32539/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32541/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32542/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32543/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32544/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32545/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32546/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32547/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32548/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32549/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32551/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32552/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32554/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32555/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32556/2010 (C/delay in filing SLP and directions and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 2146/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 2147/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 2148/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and permission to file additional documents and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 2149/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 2150/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) 5 SLP(C) No. 2151/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and directions and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 2152/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 2153/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 3705/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4449/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4458-4482/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and directions and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4483/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4484/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4486/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4487/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4488/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4489/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4490/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4491/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4492/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4493/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP) SLP(C) No. 4494/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4495/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 5064/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 10907/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 10909/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 10911/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 10915/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 10918/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) 6 SLP(C) No. 10919/2011 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 35457-35626/2012 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) S.L.P.(C)...CC No. 12507/2013 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 14801-14806/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 14807-14812/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 14813-14818/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 14819-14824/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 14825-14830/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 18010-18020/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 18064-18069/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 18070-18074/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20727/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20728/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20729/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20732-20735/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20736/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20737/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20738/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20740/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20742-20743/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20748-20749/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20750-20764/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20766-20769/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20770-20773/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20775-20777/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20781-20798/2013 (With Office Report) 7 SLP(C) No. 20799/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20804/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20805/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20808/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20810/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20813/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20815-20819/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20821/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 20823/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 22510/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 22511-22514/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 23183-23186/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 25045/2013 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 25135-25136/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 27146/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 27147/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 27148-27150/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 27151/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 28704/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 31227/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 31662/2013 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32335-32337/2013 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32338/2013 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and appln.(s) for c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32339/2013 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and appln.(s) for c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 32340/2013 (With Office Report) 8 SLP(C) No. 33916-33938/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 33939/2013 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 37033-37037/2013 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 1828/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 1829/2014 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 1830/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 1831/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 1840/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 2715/2014 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 3446/2014 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and appln.(s) for c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 3447/2014 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 3448/2014 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 3449/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4573/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4574/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4575/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4576/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 5348/2014 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 5996/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 5997/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 5998/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 8185/2014 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 9204/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 9884/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 11122/2014 (With Office Report) 9 SLP(C) No. 11765/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 11766/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 17094/2014 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 17095/2014 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 17124/2014 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 18943/2014 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in refiling SLP and appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 18944/2014 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 18945/2014 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 18946/2014 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in refiling SLP and appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 18947/2014 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 18948/2014 (With appln.(s) for c/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19238/2014 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 19302/2014 (With Office Report) SLP(C) No. 22488/2014 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 22489/2014 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 22491/2014 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 24160/2014 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 24161/2014 (C/delay in filing SLP and c/delay in refiling SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 24159/2014 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4701/2015 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 5800/2015 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 4700/2015 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 5801/2015 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) 10 C.A. No. 2429/2015 (C/delay in filing SLP) C.A. No. 2430/2015 (C/delay in filing SLP) SLP(C) No. 5799/2015 (C/delay in filing SLP and office report) C.A. No. 2428/2015 (C/delay in filing SLP) SLP(C) No. 8927/2015 (C/delay in filing SLP Office Report) C.A. No. 2880/2015 (C/delay in filing SLP) SLP(C) No. 8916/2015 (C/delay in filing SLP and Office Report) SLP(C) No. 8920/2015 (C/delay in filing SLP Office Report) Date : 25/03/2015 This petition was called on for hearing today. CORAM : HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE A.K. SIKRI HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE ROHINTON FALI NARIMAN For Petitioner(s) Mr.Mukul Rohatgi, AG Mr.P.S.Narsimha, ASG Mr.D.L.Chidananda, Adv. Mr.S.A.Haseeb, Adv. Mr.Kavin Gulati, Adv. Ms.Diksha Rai, Adv. Mr.Ajay Sharma, Adv. Mrs.Gargi Khanna, Adv. Mr.Pritesh Kapur, Adv. Mr.Parvesh Thakur, Adv. Mr. B. V. Balaram Das,Adv. Mrs. Anil Katiyar,Adv. For Respondent(s) Mr.Porus F.Kaka, Sr.Adv. Mr. Venkita Subramoniam T. R.,Adv. Mr.Vikas Srivastava, Adv. Mr.J.P.Singh, Adv. Mr.Dinesh Chawla, Adv. Mr.Harish K., Adv. Mr.Parag M., Adv. Mr.A.Agnihotri, Adv. Mr. Shivaji M. Jadhav,Adv. Mr. Kamal Mohan Gupta,Adv. Mr.S.C.Tiwari, Adv. Mr. Jatin Zaveri,Adv. 11 Mr.Neel Kamal Mishra, Adv. Mr.Alok Yadav, Adv. Mr.Somnath Shukla, Adv. Mr. Praveen Kumar,Adv. Mr. Rashmikumar Manilal Vithlani,Adv. Mr. Vimal Chandra S. Dave,Adv. Ms.Neelam Kalsi, Adv. Mr. Arun K. Sinha,Adv. Mr.Aarohi Bhalla, Adv. Mr.P.Chetan, Adv. Ms. Sujata Kurdukar,Adv. Mr. Surya Kant,Adv. Mr.Pradeep Kumar Yadav, Adv. Mr.S.R.Wadhwa, Adv. Mr. Kaushal Yadav,Adv. Mr.Sumit Goel, Adv. Ms.Anubha Gupta, Adv. For M/s. Parekh & Co.,Adv. Mr. Anis Ahmed Khan,Adv. Ms.Meenakshi Midha, Adv. Mr. Pranab Kumar Mullick,Adv. Ms.Arna Das, Adv. Mr. Rameshwar Prasad Goyal,Adv. Mr. M. C. Dhingra,Adv. Mr.Siddharth Mittal, Adv. Mr.Anupam Yadav, Adv. Mr. S. K. Sabharwal,Adv. Mr.Ankur S.Kulkarni, Adv. Mr.S.Bindlish, Adv. Mr.Anand Srivastava, Adv. Ms.Shweta S.Parihar, Adv. for M/s. Lex Regis Law Offices,Adv. Mr. Y. Raja Gopala Rao,Adv. Ms.Y.Vismai Rao, Adv. Mr.Hitendra Nath Rath, Adv. Mr.P.Sudheer Kumar Reddy, Adv. 12 Mr. Sanjeev Malhotra,Adv. Ms. Sonia Mathur,Adv. Mr.Rajiv K.Garg, Adv. Mr.Vineet Garg, Adv. Dr.Kailash Chand, Adv. Mr.R.K.Kapoor, Adv. Ms.S.Rama, Adv. Ms.Shweta Kapoor, Adv. Mr.Anis Ahmed Khan, Adv. Mr.Pradeep Kumar Yadav, Adv. Mr.S.R.Wadhwa, Adv. Mr.P.Jitendra Kalkan, Adv. Mr.Pradeep Kumar Yadav, Adv. Mr.S.R.Wadhwa, Adv. Mr.Pranesh, Adv. Mr.Pradeep Kumar Yadav, Adv. Mr.S.R.Wadhwa, Adv. Mr.Sanjeev Malhotra, Adv. Mr.Dipesh Sinha, Adv. Mr.Amit Sharma, Adv. Mr.Anupam Lal Das, Adv. Ms.Arna Das, Adv. Mr.Gaurav Dhingra, Adv. Mr.Rajat Navet, Adv. Mr. Pradeep Kumar Bakshi,Adv. Mr.Kushagra Pandit, Adv. Mr.Ranjan Kumar, Adv. Mr.Rajeev Kumar, Adv. Ms.Sharddha, Adv. Ms.Kavita Jha, Adv. Upon hearing counsel Court made following ORDER Delay condoned. In all these special leave petitions filed by Union of India, correctness of judgment dated 07.08.2009 rendered by Bombay High Court in batch of writ petitions is questioned. 13 In those writ petitions filed by various assessees, validity of Sections 245 HA(1)(iv) and 245HA(3) of Income Tax Act, 1961, as amended by Finance Act, 2007 was challenged. High Court, by detailed judgment, found aforesaid provisions to be violative of Article 14 etc but at same time, it did not invalidate these petitions as High Court was of opinion that it was possible to read down provisions of Section 245HA(1)(iv) in particular to avoid holding provisions as unconstitutional. conclusion so arrived at is summed up in paragraph 54 of impugned judgment, which reads as under: 54. From above discussion having arrived at conclusion that fixing cutoff date as 31st March, 2008 was arbitrary provisions of Section 245HA(1)(iv) to that extent will be also arbitrary. We have also held that it is possible to read down provisions of Section 245HA(1)(iv) in manner set out earlier. This recourse has been taken in order to avoid holding provisions as unconstitutional. Having so read, we would have to read Section 245HA(1)(iv) to mean that in event application could not be disposed of for any reasons attributable on part of applicant who has made application under Section 245C. Consequently only such proceedings would abate under Section 245HA(1)(iv). Considering above, Settlement Commissioner to consider whether proceedings had been delayed on account of any reasons attributable on part of Applicant. If it comes to conclusion that it was not so, then to proceed with application as if not abated. 14 Respondent No.1 if desirous of early disposal of pending applications, to consider appointment of more Benches of Settlement Commission, more so as Benches where there is heavy pendency like Delhi and Mumbai. We are of opinion that it is well-considered judgment of High Court and does not call for any interference. All these special leave petitions and appeals are accordingly dismissed. (SATISH KUMAR YADAV) (SUMAN JAIN) COURT MASTER COURT MASTER (Signed order in C.A.No.2429/2015, C.A.No.2430/2015, C.A.No.2428/2015 and C.A.No.2880/2015 is placed on file) 15 IN SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL No.2429 OF 2015 UNION OF INDIA & ORS. .......APPELLANTS VERSUS GURMEET KALRA .......RESPONDENT WITH CIVIL APPEAL NO.2430 OF 2015 CIVIL APPEAL NO.2428 OF 2015 CIVIL APPEAL NO.2880 OF 2015 O R D E R Delay condoned. In all these appeals filed by Union of India, correctness of judgments dated 16.09.2014 and 23.09.2014 rendered by Bombay High Court in batch of writ petitions is questioned. In those writ petitions filed by various assessees, validity of Sections 245 HA(1)(iv) and 245HA(3) of Income Tax Act, 1961, as amended by Finance Act, 2007 was challenged. High Court, by detailed judgment, found aforesaid provisions to be violative of Article 14 etc but at same time, it did not invalidate these petitions as High Court was of opinion that it was possible to read down provisions of Section 245HA(1)(iv) in particular to avoid holding provisions as unconstitutional. conclusion so arrived at is summed up in 16 paragraph 54 of impugned judgment, which reads as under: 54. From above discussion having arrived at conclusion that fixing cutoff date as 31st March, 2008 was arbitrary provisions of Section 245HA(1)(iv) to that extent will be also arbitrary. We have also held that it is possible to read down provisions of Section 245HA(1)(iv) in manner set out earlier. This recourse has been taken in order to avoid holding provisions as unconstitutional. Having so read, we would have to read Section 245HA(1)(iv) to mean that in event application could not be disposed of for any reasons attributable on part of applicant who has made application under Section 245C. Consequently only such proceedings would abate under Section 245HA(1)(iv). Considering above, Settlement Commissioner to consider whether proceedings had been delayed on account of any reasons attributable on part of Applicant. If it comes to conclusion that it was not so, then to proceed with application as if not abated. Respondent No.1 if desirous of early disposal of pending applications, to consider appointment of more Benches of Settlement Commission, more so as Benches where there is heavy pendency like Delhi and Mumbai. We are of opinion that it is well-considered judgment of High Court and does not call for any interference. All these appeals are accordingly dismissed. ....J. (A.K. SIKRI) ....J. (ROHINTON FALI NARIMAN) NEW DELHI; MARCH 25, 2015. Union of India v. Star Television News Limited
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