The Madras High Court on Tuesday dismissed as withdrawn an Income Tax department appeal against film star Rajinikanth in respect of assessment for three years from 2002-03 after the department cited a CBDT circular doing away with a further legal challenge in matters involving an amount less than Rs 1 crore.
A bench of justices Vineet Kothari and R Suresh Kumar passed the order after the department submitted it was withdrawing the appeal against July 26, 2013 order of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) which had allowed the actor's plea against the assessment orders levying penalty on income totalling over Rs 66 lakh.
Counsel for the department said the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had issued a circular on August 8, 2019 directing authorities not to go on appeal where the amount of tax was less than Rs 1 crore.
In the present appeal filed by the Commissioner of Income Tax, Chennai, the amount claimed by the department for all the three assessment years was less than Rs. 1 crore, he said. The matter related to an order passed by the Assessment Officer levying penalty under section 271(1)(C ) of the Income Tax Act assessing an amount of Rs 6.20 lakh for the assessment year 2002-03, Rs.5.56 lakh for AY 2003-04 and Rs. 54.46 lakh for AY 2004-05.
Aggrieved by it, Rajinikanth filed an appeal before the IT (Appeal) which dismissed it. He then approached the ITAT which had allowed his appeal, holding that the penalty was imposed without any material evidence or investigation. Challenging this, the IT department had filed the present appeal in the high court.