Nokia Corporation v. Deputy Commissioner of Income-tax & Ors
[Citation -2020-LL-0806-4]

Citation 2020-LL-0806-4
Appellant Name Nokia Corporation
Respondent Name Deputy Commissioner of Income-tax & Ors.
Court HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Relevant Act Income-tax
Date of Order 06/08/2020
Assessment Year 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08
Judgment View Judgment
Keyword Tags statutory interest • time limit • refund
Bot Summary: That the Assessee M/s Nokia Corporation has filed Writ Petition No. 1407 of 2020 before the Hon'ble Delhi High Court seeking immediate release of refunds in regard to the AYs 1997-98 to 2007-08, arising on account of decision of the Hon'ble ITAT in favour of assessee. That in light of the order of the Ld. ITAT, the application of the assessee has been duly examined by the Respondent Department and the process of giving credit of pre-paid taxes to the assessee has already been initiated. That a letter dated 03.12.2019 has already been issued to the assessee vide email dated 04.12.2019 for providing copies of challans for the subject assessment years, keeping in mind the following considerations: a. to avoid repeated rectifications; b. to rule out the possibility of issuing undue refund to the assessee; c. to allow credit of complete amount as claimed by the assessee in one go; and d. to expedite the matter. This office does not propose to pay any interest for the period of delay which is attributable to the assessee itself. The Departmental Systems/ Database/ Records show only part credits/ payments, whereas, certain payments/ credits claimed by assessee are not available online. The non availability of the said old records and the current situation caused due to the pandemic is making it difficult for the Respondent to examine, verify and process the request of the assessee. As amounts claimed by the assessee have been transferred across different assessment years, the said claims do not match with the online data relating to credit of taxes available with the Department in respect of many claimed entries.


$ 6 * IN HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI + W.P.(C) 1407/2020 NOKIA CORPORATION ..... Petitioner Through: Mr. Deepak Chopra, Advocate with Mr. Abhimanyu Chopra, Mr. Ankul Goyal, Advocates versus DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX & ORS. ..... Respondents Through: Mr. Deepak Anand, Sr. Standing Counsel with Mr. Vipul Aggarwal, Jr. Standing Counsel % Date of Decision: 06th August, 2020 CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE MANMOHAN HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE SANJEEV NARULA JUDGMENT MANMOHAN, J: (Oral) CM APPL. 13660/2020 1. application has been heard by way of video conferencing. 2. Present application has been filed seeking direction to respondent to pass appeal effect orders and determine consequential refunds for Assessment Years 1997-98 to 2007-08 expeditiously. 3. Learned counsel for petitioner submits that in accordance with Section 153(5) of Income Tax Act, appeal effect orders have to be passed within three months from end of month in which relevant W.P. (C) 1407/2020 Page 1 of 5 order is received by Principal Chief Commissioner/Chief Commissioner of Income Tax. He states that in present case, orders deciding issues in favour of petitioner have been passed by Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Delhi on 05.06.2018 (AY 1997-98 & 1998-99); 29.03.2019 (AY 1999-00 to 2003-04) and 02.09.2019 (AY 2004-05 to 2007- 08) and as per record of appeal filed by respondent before this Court, said orders were received by Office of second respondent on 19.07.2018 (AY 1997-98 & 1998-99); 08.05.2019 (1999-00 to 2003-04); 30.09.2019 (AY 2004-05 to 2007-08). Hence, time limit prescribed under section 153(5) of Act has lapsed. 4. Learned counsel for respondent relies upon letter dated 04th August, 2020 written by Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax to him. said letter reads as under:- F.No.DCIT/Intl. Tax/Cir-2(2)(2)/2020-21/ Dated: 04.08.2020 Sir, Subject : Reply affidavit in early hearing application in WPC 1407 /2020" Nokia corporation v dcit undersigned has following comments in matter. It is hereby submitted : 1. That Assessee M/s Nokia Corporation (formerly known as M/s Nokia Network OY) has filed Writ Petition No. 1407 of 2020 before Hon'ble Delhi High Court seeking immediate release of refunds in regard to AYs 1997-98 to 2007-08, arising on account of decision of Hon'ble ITAT in favour of assessee. 2. That in light of order of Ld. ITAT, application of assessee has been duly examined by Respondent Department and process of giving credit of pre-paid taxes to assessee has already been initiated. W.P. (C) 1407/2020 Page 2 of 5 3. That as matter at hand relates to AYs more than 20 years old and fact that during such period processing/ computation of tax was done offline and not online, moreover, fact that complete data relating to taxes paid by assessee was not traceable, claim of assessee could not be completely verified. 4. That letter dated 03.12.2019 has already been issued to assessee vide email dated 04.12.2019 for providing copies of challans for subject assessment years, keeping in mind following considerations: a. to avoid repeated rectifications; b. to rule out possibility of issuing undue refund to assessee (just in case credit of such taxes has been allowed offline on earlier occasion in case of assessee in any AY); c. to allow credit of complete amount as claimed by assessee in one go; and d. to expedite matter. assessee however opted not to provide same. In circumstances, this office could not complete process. 5. That it was intended that this matter regarding verification of taxes paid would be taken up immediately on completion of time barring matters, because at relevant point of time, available manpower was deployed for attending time barring matters. 6. That prima facie, assessee is entitled to refund however same can be issued only after following due process involving verification of payments, ensuring collection of all amounts due and ruling out possibility of giving credit of taxes paid more than once. That without prejudice to above, assessee is entitled for interest on amounts refundable to it. However, this office does not propose to pay any interest for period of delay which is attributable to assessee itself. 7. That assessee only submitted scanned copies of certain documents through email on 30.04.2020. documents submitted by it are required to be verified from records and W.P. (C) 1407/2020 Page 3 of 5 database maintained by Department. 8. That since, during present time of COVID-19, number of COVID positive cases is increasing in Respondent Department, therefore Department is compelled to follow roster system for safety of its employees. Thus, retrieval of old records is difficult because of non availability of requisite number of officials. 9. That moreover, Departmental Systems/ Database/ Records show only part credits/ payments, whereas, certain payments/ credits claimed by assessee are not available online. non availability of said old records and current situation caused due to pandemic is making it difficult for Respondent to examine, verify and process request of assessee. As amounts claimed by assessee have been transferred across different assessment years, said claims do not match with online data relating to credit of taxes available with Department in respect of many claimed entries. 10. That it is hereby stated that efforts were earlier made by this office to verify challans from Bank authorities, however, same is not yet confirmed/ verified. 11. That in addition to above, issue involved in present case is under litigation before this Hon'ble Court and before Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. That since Department is sanguine for favourable decision, if amount is refunded at this stage to assessee and in case decision is delivered in favour of Department by Hon'ble High Court of Delhi or by Hon'ble Supreme Court, it will be difficult for Department to recover demand from assessee as it has transferred its business operations to its subsidiary and has not been conducting much activities in India. Yours faithfully, Digitally signed by SUKHAD CHATURVEDI (Sukhad Chaturvedi) W.P. (C) 1407/2020 Page 4 of 5 Deputy Commissioner of Income-Tax Circle 2(2)(2), International Taxation, New Delhi 5. Today, Mr. Deepak Anand, learned Senior Standing counsel states that refund for assessment year 2004-2005 has been processed yesterday. He also states that all necessary documents have now been received from petitioner. 6. Learned counsel for applicant-petitioner also assures this Court that in case further documents are required, same shall be furnished forthwith. 7. Mr. Deepak Anand assures this Court that refunds for aforesaid remaining assessment years shall be processed shortly. 8. Keeping in view aforesaid, respondent is directed to pass appeal effect orders and determine consequential refunds for aforesaid assessment years along-with applicable statutory interest within three months from today in accordance with law. 9. With aforesaid directions, present writ petition and application stand disposed of. 10. order be uploaded on website forthwith. Copy of order be also forwarded to learned counsel through e-mail. MANMOHAN, J SANJEEV NARULA, J AUGUST 06, 2020 sb W.P. (C) 1407/2020 Page 5 of 5 Nokia Corporation v. Deputy Commissioner of Income-tax & Or
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