I-T dept withdraws appeal against Rajinikanth over penalty

Rajinikanth Tamil Nadu - The Federal
The actor had said, "Anti-social elements were the reason why the protests turned unruly."

The Madras High Court on Tuesday (January 28) dismissed as withdrawn an Income Tax department appeal against film star Rajinikanth in respect of assessment for three years from 2002-03 after the department cited a CBDT circular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 further legal challenge in matters involving amount less than ₹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 actors plea against the assessment orders levying penalty on income totalling over ₹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 ₹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 ₹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 ₹6.20 lakh for the assessment year 2002-03, ₹5.56 lakh for AY 2003-04 and ₹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.