Case Law: Pr CIT vs. Grasim Industries Ltd (Bombay High Court)

The CBDT should reconsider the practice of appointing retired revenue officers as panel counsel. While the retired officials have domain expertise and do render assistance, they lack the skill and conduct required to appear as an Advocate. They also lack the objectivity expected from officers of the court. The CBDT could consider holding of a training programme, where leading Advocates could address the domain expert on the ethics, obligation and standard expected of Advocates before they start representing the State. The CBDT should lay down a standard procedure in respect of manner in which the Departmental Officer/ Assessing Officer assist the Counsel for the Revenue while promoting/ protecting Revenue’s cause so that the Revenue’s Counsel are not left to fend for themselves

We have for a long time, taken into account that many of these are fresh entrants to the bar and in due course, would learn the standard expected of an Advocate. However, to our disappointment, many of them are refusing to learn. Therefore, the CBDT could consider holding of a training programme, where leading Advocates could address the domainexpert on the ethics, obligation and standard expected of Advocates before they start representing the State. This is only a suggestion and it is entirely for the CBDT to take appropriate steps to ensure that the Revenue is properly represented to serve the greater cause of justice and fair play. In any case, we would expect the CBDT to lay down a standard procedure in respect of manner in which the Departmental Officer/ Assessing Officer assist the Counsel for the Revenue while promoting/ protecting Revenue’s cause. We find in most cases, atleast during the final hearing, Revenue’s Counsel are left to fend for themselves and that even papers at times are borrowed from the other side or taken from the Court Records. If the mind set of the Revenue Officer changes and they attend to the case diligently till it is disposed of, only then would it be ensured that the State is properly represented Read the rest of this entry »

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