6 month jail term for Delhi woman for failing to file ITR on Rs2 crore income
A Delhi Court recently sentenced a woman, identified as Savitri, to six months in jail for failing to file an income tax return (ITR) on an income of Rs two crore for the financial year 2013-14.
The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM), Mayank Mittal also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on Savitri, with an additional one month of simple imprisonment in case of default.
The case emerged from a complaint by the Income Tax Office (ITO) which noted that tax deducted at source (TDS) of Rs two lakh was deducted against receipts made to Savitri during the said financial year. However, she failed to file a return of income for the assessment year 2014-15.
Despite the prosecution's push for a stringent penalty citing deterrence as the primary purpose of the provision, the defence cited Savitri's personal circumstances, saying that she is a widow, with no one else to support her family.
The court's decision came after a series of notices and a penalty order issued to Savitri by the ITO went unheeded. Following due process, the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, New Delhi, authorised the prosecution against Savitri under Section 276CC read with 279 of the IT Act.
While convicting Savitri, the court stated that the prosecution successfully proved the issuance and service of the notices, and Savitri failed to file the required return of income.
Moreover, she could not present any evidence to counter the presumption of a culpable mental state under Section 278E of the IT Act, leading to her conviction.
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