A petition has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking extension of all the due dates of compliances specified under the Income Tax Act, GST Act, Employees Provident Fund Act, Employees' State Insurance Act and other allied labour laws falling between 20th March till 31st July, 2021 owing to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The petition alternatively seeks a relief of waiver of interest or any kind of penalty for completing the compliances beyond the specified dates.
The petition, filed by Society for Tax Analysis and Research and moved through Advocates Dr. Avinash Poddar, Dr. Gaurav Gupta, Jaspal Singh Sethi and Suresh Aggarwal seeks interim direction to extend the due dates for completing the compliances under the above mentioned Acts and highlights that expecting the tax payers to complete their tax compliances within the due dates in the middle of the pandemic restrictions "must be treated as expecting the tax payer to go against the directions/restrictions and therefore is illegal looking to the condition and therefore an impossible task."
"The petitioner states that the corona pandemic is a situation not in control of anyone and therefore, the assessees shall be accorded enough time to duly complete all their compliances efficiently.The assessees cannot be left at the mercy of the respondents." The petition states.
Furthermore, it has also been stated that the extension and relaxation of compliance requirements under the various laws is important "to save life of such assessees and professionals and their family members."
"If the due dates are not extended, then it shall be against the rights reserved under Article 21 of Constitution of India, 1950 as such compliance may require movement at the cost of their life. Article 21 casts the obligation on the state to preserve life." The petition reads.
The respondents in the matter are Union of India through Ministry of Finance, GST Council, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, CBDT, Employees State Insurance Corporation and Employees Provident Fund Organization.
The matter was taken up on Tuesday by the single judge bench comprising of Justice Pratibha Singh.
During the course of hearing, the Court was apprised by the Respondents that some reliefs have already been granted and that instructions may be sought for the purpose of granting other reliefs. In view of this, 3-4 days time was sought by the Respondent authorities to take directions and assist the court in the matter.
On the other hand, Advocate Dr. Poddar arguing for petitioner pressed for some interim relief with respect to issuance of summon.
Petitioners were represented by learned Advocates Dr. Avinash Poddar, Dr. Gaurav Gupta, Mr. Suresh Aggarwal and Adv Jaspal Singh Sethi.
Matter will now be heard on 12th May 2021.