Powers of Section 127 of the Act can Be invoked for public interest and administrative convenience: Delhi High court


CASE NO: W.P.(C) 4054/2024 & CM APPL 16537/2024

ORDER ON: 07 May 2024



The present writ petitions, at the instance of the assessees, seek to assail the impugned orders dated 20 February 2024 [W.P.(C) 4086/2024]  and 11 March 2024 [W.P.(C) 4054/2024] passed under Section 127 of the Income Tax Act, 1961

The facts leading to the present petition, are taken into consideration.in W.P.(C) 4054/2024 [Dollar Gulati v. Principal Commissioner of Income Tax, wherein, on 11 April 2023, a search operation under Section 132 of the Act was conducted on the premises of M/s. Zee Lab Group, Pursuant to the said search, some incriminating material alluding to the assessee was discovered and therefore, a notice under Section 131(1A) of the Act was issued to the assessee, whereby, the assessee was called on to furnish details of income earned by him since Assessment Year 2017-18 Thereafter, the assessee furnished a reply to the aforesaid notice, whereby, the financial statements of bank accounts, particulars of the investments made and details of the unsecured loan transactions etc. were provided to the Revenue.  Subsequently, on 2 February 2024, a show cause notice was issued to the assessee, whereby, for the purpose of an ‘administrative, convenience, coordinated investigation and assessment’, the case of the assessee was sought to be centralized at DCIT, Central Circle, Karnal, Haryana and the assessee was called upon to furnish objections, if any, against the proposed transfer. Consequently, on 3 February 2024, the assessee furnished his reply against the above noted show cause notice stating inter alia that the proposed transfer was not bona fide and there was no link between the assessee and the searched party. After considering the reply filed by the assessee, on 11 March 2024, the Revenue passed an order under Section 127 of the Act, whereby, the case of the assessee was centralized and transferred from the Income Tax Office Delhi to DCIT, Central Circle, Karnal, Haryana. It is this order which is challenged before this court in this writ petition. 


whether the Revenue while passing the impugned order bears in mind the legislative mandate of Section 127 of the Act and considers the objections raised by the assesses (petitioner)?


Section 127 of the Income Tax Act, 1961- empowers the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner of Income Tax to transfer cases from one AO to another.

Section 132 of the income tax Act – empowers income tax authorities to carry out a search and seizure of books of accounts, documents, cash, jewellery etc.


The Petitioner through their counsel. N.P. Shahi submitted that the impugned order was passed without any application of mind and in a mechanical manner as it reflects no reasoning regarding the transfer of the petitioner’s case from the jurisdictional Assessing Officer to DCIT, Central Circle, Karnal, Haryana. the counsel further argued that the petitioners case was nowhere linked to the searched party and therefore, there was no need for the centralization of the petitioner’s case. He further submitted that due to the arbitrary and irrational order passed by the Revenue, unnecessary hardship would be caused to the petitioner as he has to travel all the way from Delhi to the DCIT, Central Circle, Karnal, Haryana.   


The counsel, Mr. Deepak Gupta, appearing on behalf of the Respondent, strongly opposed the submissions advanced by the petitioner’s counsel and submitted that the impugned order was passed following the mandate of Section 127 of the Act. Counsel also argued that the petitioner has duly been given an opportunity of hearing and after considering the reply of the petitioner, the Revenue has passed the impugned order. counsel further submitted that the petitioner had an indelible link to the searched persons, which was even reflected in the reply filed by the a petitioner, to the notice  and therefore, an order of centralization under Section 127 of the Act is justifiable. 


The court having been heard both the the parties, analysed the scope and ambit of powers conferred upon the Revenue under Section 127 of the Act. And the court observed that, Section 127 of the Act,  is a machinery Provision which is aimed at larger public interest which  can be Exercised. Further the court considered that, the legislative mandate advises that the order Of transfer under Section 127 of the Act ought to be passed after Providing a reasonable opportunity of hearing to the assessee. Hence the court opined that, the order passed under Section 127 of the Act should duly reflect the application of mind while disposing of the Objections filed by the assessee. Moreover, the convenience of parties Shall be considered by the Revenue while exercising the powers under Section 127 of the Act, however, the court considered that in view of the administrative nature Of such an order, the administrative convenience of the Revenue and The need for coordinated investigation‘ would take precedence over The logistical difficulties faced by the assessee. It is also fundamental to point out that despite being a machinery provision, the reasons Recorded in the order of transfer should not be capricious or mala fide And such order shall not run contrary to the bona fide objectives of the Act.

For more clear understanding of the ambit and scope of section 127 of the act The following judicial decisions where considered by the court,

  • P. Mohammed Salim v. CIT,
  • Infrastructure Ltd. V. Commissioner of Income-tax,
  • Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Trust v. CIT
  • Aamby Valley Ltd. V. CIT
  • Sameer Leasing Co. Ltd. V. Chairman, CBDT,
  • Bhatia Minerals v. Commissioner of Income-Tax,
  • Jharkhand Mukti Morcha v. Commissioner of Income-Tax, Ranchi

In the conspectus of the above  judicial decisions and principles Emerging from those decisions, the court examined the Grounds of challenge raised, And the court observed that it is evident from an ex facie reading of the impugned order That an opportunity of hearing was given to the assessee and the Revenue has considered the objections raised by the assessee before Passing the impugned order, and moreover, the court opined that the case of the assessee Was centralized on the grounds of coordinated enquiries, Investigations and administrative convenience’, therefore, the Contention of the assessee that the impugned order reflects no Application of mind and the Revenue had not considered the Objections raised by the assessee holds no merit. Therefore the court pointed out that it is crystal clear in light of the Discussion noted above that the powers of Section 127 of the Act can Be invoked for public interest and administrative convenience. Furthermore, the ground of coordinated investigation‘ is a good Ground of transfer as upheld by various decisions quoted above.Furthermore, considering the controversy from another lens of Exercising the power of judicial review vested under Article 226 of the Constitution, the court finds  that the present is not a case where the exercise Of statutory powers by the authority can be said to be wholly arbitrary, Irrational, without jurisdiction or suffers with mala fide intention. Therefore, in light of all the  discussion and judicial Pronouncements, the court  hereby does not opine to interfere with the Orders dated 20 February 2024 [W.P.C. 4086/2024] and 11 March 2024 [W.P.(C) 4054/2024] passed under Section 127 of the Act.  Further the court contended that  these observations have been made only for the Purpose of deciding the challenge which stands raised before the court they Should not be construed to be an expression on the merits of the case Or otherwise. Accordingly and subject to the aforesaid observations, the court Dismissed  these writ petitions.

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Difficulty in collating the information is not a ground under RTI Act for refusing information:Delhi High court


CASE NO: W.P.(C) 6034/2024 & CM APPL. 25029/2024

ORDER ON: 02nd MAY, 2024



The present petition challenges the Order dated 06.11.2023, passed by the Central Information Commission (“the CIC”).

The facts, in brief, leading to the present Writ Petition is that, the Respondent herein filed an RTI application seeing information as to in how many cases the Aided School Branch, Department of Education has taken action against the teachers for taking private tuitions in the State of Delhi. Later the Department of Education transferred the application to the concerned Public Information Officers (PIOs) of all districts.As the information was not been given to him within the stipulated time, the Respondent filed a first appeal before the Appellate Authority, but was disposed of, A second appeal was filed by the Respondent which was disposed of , with a direction to the PIOs to seek clarification from the Respondent about the information and the specific time period for which the information is sought, later On 09.06.2023, the Respondent wrote a letter to the PIO (ASB) stating that the Respondent requires 10 years information but, the Respondent sought information only for five years, Since no action was taken, proceedings under Section 18 read with Section 20 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 was initiated by the Respondent. On 06.11.2023, the CIC has passed the impugned Order directing the PIO of the Aided School Branch to provide the relevant information to the Respondent within 60 days from the date of the said Order. Aggrieved by the said Order, the Petitioner has approached this Court.


Section 18 of the Right to Information Act, 2005: talks about the duty of the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, to receive and inquire into a complaint from any person,.

Sec 20 of the right to Information Act,2005: talks about penalties


 The Petitioner through their legal counsel submitted that the Department of Education has no control over unaided Schools and, therefore, it cannot provide for the information regarding action taken by the unaided Schools against their teachers for taking private tuitions. The counsel  further submitted  that there is no direction from the Vigilance Department of the Department of Education to maintain a list of cases of misconduct.the counsel  also placed reliance on a Circular dated 01.11.2017 by which an application made under the RTI Act cannot be sent to private unaided schools as they are not public authorities amenable to the RTI Act. The counsel further states that since private schools are not under the RTI Act, the Respondent cannot seek for any information regarding unaided private schools.


The respondent through their learned Counsel submitted that under the Delhi School Education Rules, 1973, if a private school intends to take major penalty against a teacher then it must be authorization from the Department of Education and, therefore, the counsel contended that it cannot be said that the Department of Education does not have the requisite information.


The court on hearing both the parties, opined that A Public Authority cannot take a stand that, the information is not available in one place and it will take a long time to collate the same, therefore, the information cannot be provided under the RTI Act.the court further observed the Rules of the Delhi School Education Rules, 1973, which stipulates that if a School intends to take a major penalty against a teacher then the approval of the Director of Education is necessary and without such approval any action of major penalty cannot be imposed on the teacher. Therefore, the court opined that, information related to teachers of private unaided schools can be collated from the records of major punishment imposed by such schools. Therefore, the court considered that, the Petitioner must have the information regarding the penalty taken against a teacher for taking private tuition in both Government and private schools. hence, the court opined that, Efforts have to be made by the Department to collate the information and then give it to the Respondent. The court further opined that the object of the RTI Act is to ensure transparency in the functioning of the Departments and this cannot stop by the State Government on the ground that voluminous information is being sought and, therefore, the information cannot be provided. The Government also cannot deny information on the grounds that it will take time to collate the information.

 From all of the above analysis and considerations , the Court dismissed the present Writ Petition with a direction to the Petitioner to provide the information sought by the Respondent in respect of both Government and aided schools and in respect of private schools, the Petitioner is directed to provide information of all such cases where major penalty has been imposed on the teacher for taking private tuitions.

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Supreme Court Directs Bombay High Court to Scrutinize Legality of Advocates’ Filed ‘Minutes of Order’

Case title: Ajay Ishwar Ghute and Ors V. Meher K. Patel and Ors

Case no: Civil appeal No. 4786 of 2024

Dated on: 30th April, 2024

Quorum: Justice Abhay S. Oka and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan

Facts of the case: 
An Arbitration Petition was filed under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 before single judge of Bombay High court wherein consent terms were filed in the arbitration petition preferred by the first respondent. In terms of the consent terms the learned single judge recorded that the process of handing over the possession of the suit property by the respondents to the first respondents as commenced. The disputes were related to lands of Parsi Dairy Farm. The seventh respondent filed an interim application after two years of filing the consent terms by stating that High court had directed the Police to give police protection to the parties for completing the process of handing over possession. A compound wall was to be constructed in terms of the consent terms, which according, to the seventh respondent could not be done as local persons obstructed the work. The learned single judge of the Bombay High court disposed the interim application by directing Police/Tahasildar/ Collector/ Gram Panchayat office and all other Government authorities to offer assistance to construct a wall to safeguard the suit property. The persons who had obstructed the construction of the wall were not part to the arbitration proceedings/ interim application. An application was filed to Deputy Superintendent of Land Records by first respondent and five others for measuring the land who vide later dated 20.11.2021 informed the first respondent that several persons have objected, in writing, in carrying out the survey. Hence, holding an enquiry was necessary. First and second respondent filed a writ petition under Article 226 of the constitution for non-compliance with the orders of the Arbitration Petition regarding survey and construction of compound wall. The persons who raised objections were not impleaded in the Writ Petition. The Division Bench on 09.03.2022 ordered the Superintendent of Police to be present. The Superintendent of Police filed an affidavit stating that local tribals have gathered an impression that they were attempted to be illegally dispossessed and they insisted that the lands be demarcated before constructing the compound wall. The District Superintendent of Land Records vide an affidavit stated that there are certain persons to whom the petitioners and others have sold small portions of land and if a compound wall is constructed the third parties are likely to get landlocked. The Division bench without noticing the contentions of the above Government officers, instead of directing impleadment of the affected parties passed an order in terms of ‘Minutes of order’ dated 16.03.2022, for issuing a direction to survey authorities to carry out demarcation of the boundary and to direct the police to provide protection for constructing the compound wall.

Contentions of the appellant: 
Of the thirty review petitioners Nos. 7-18 were shown as interveners in the “Minutes of order” though they had not engaged any advocate. The said interveners never met the advocate who is shown to have signed ‘Minutes of order’ on their behalf. The appellants had rights in respect of several properties which were likely to be adversely affected by the construction of the compound wall. The principles of Natural justice were not followed before permitting the construction of the compound wall. The impugned order based on ‘Minutes of order’ is completely illegal and vitiated by the non-joinder of the necessary parties.

Contentions of the respondent: 
The compound wall had been built in such a manner that no person was landlocked or in any manner inconvenienced. The owners of the adjacent lands continue to enjoy unhindered and unfettered access to their respective land.

Legal provisions:

Article 226- Writ Jurisdiction of High Court.


Whether the High court was justified in passing a order while exercising Writ Jurisdiction under Article 226 of the constitution of India permitting the first and second respondent to construct a compound wall under police protection in terms of “Minutes of Order”?

Court’s analysis and judgement: 
The court summarised conclusions regarding the concept of Minutes of order as follows: 
a) The practice of filing ‘Minutes of order’ prevails in Bombay High court the object of which is to assist the court. 
b) An order passed in terms of ‘Minutes of order’ is not a consent order. It is an order in invitum. 
c) The Courts to apply its mind as to whether parties likely to be affected by an order in terms ‘Minutes of order’ have been impleaded to the proceedings and whether such order is lawful? If the court finds that all parties are not impleaded the court to defer passing of the order till all the necessary parties are impleaded. 
d) If the court is of the view that an order made in terms of ‘Minutes of order’ will not be lawful court should decline to pass order in terms of ‘Minutes of order’.  
Findings on the facts of the case- 
It was the duty of the Court to call 1st and 2nd respondent to implead persons who were likely to be affected by the construction of the compound wall. The Division Bench of the High court failed to make an enquiry as to whether the third parties will be affected by the construction of the compound wall. Hence, order dated 16.03.2022 in terms of ‘Minutes of order’ is entirely illegal and must be set aside. The writ Petition to be remanded to the High court. After remand, High court must decide who are the necessary parties to the petition in case of failure of 1st and 2nd respondents to implead the necessary parties the High court is within its power to dismiss the Writ Petition and pass an order of restoration of status quo ante by directing demolition of the compound wall.

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Mere membership of banned organizations is a sufficient ingredient to incriminate without there being an overt act :SC

Case title: Jamsheed Zahoor Paul V. State of NCT of Delhi.

Case no: CRL.A. 51/2024.

Dated on: 24th April, 2024.

Quorum: Hon’ble Mr Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Manoj Jain.

Facts of the case:

Special Cell (New Delhi Range), Lodhi Colony received information that two persons i.e. Parvaiz Rashid Lone and Jamsheed Zahoor Paul (appellant herein) were radicalized youths of Jammu & Kashmir, having allegiance to banned terrorist organization ISIS/SI/DAESH. As per intelligence inputs, they had procured arms and ammunition from UP for their cadres for executing some terrorist act in Jammu & Kashmir and would come at Netaji Subhash Park, near Lal Quila (Red Fort), Delhi on 07.09.2018 to proceed to Kashmir. Both the aforesaid named suspects were found moving towards Lal Qila. Search of the appellant yielded recovery of one pistol, containing live cartridges. These were seized. During investigation, both the accused divulged that they were propagating ideology of terrorist outfit ISIS in India and were in touch with another ISIS militant, namely, Abdullah Basith. Though, initially, FIR had been registered for commission of offence under Section 25 Arms Act, after detailed investigation and on the basis of the incriminating material collected during investigation, both the accused were accordingly charge-sheeted for commission of offences under Section 25 Arms Act and for Sections 18 & 20 of UAPA. Appellant had earlier moved one application seeking bail which was dismissed, and it was withdrawn on 06.06.2019. He moved another bail application which, too, was dismissed on 01.05.2020, feeling aggrieved, he preferred Criminal Appeal 345/2021 which was, however, not pressed and resultantly, the same was dismissed by this court on 31.01.2022. It was thereafter only that the appellant moved another bail application which also did not find favor and was dismissed by the learned trial court vide impugned Order dated 16.11.2023. Such, Order is under challenge now.

Contentions of the appellant:

There is no material to show that appellant had indulged into any unlawful or terrorist act. The entire case of prosecution is dependent upon the disclosure statements of the accused persons and these statements have no evidentiary value, being inadmissible in law. There is nothing to indicate that any message or BBM chat retrieved from the electronic device of the appellant had any potential to indicate that he was in contact with any terrorist. Appellant could not be branded as “terrorist‟ or a “person involved in terrorist act” merely on the basis of the recovery of a pistol and, therefore, invocation of draconian provision of UAPA is totally mis-founded and unwarranted. There is nothing to indicate that the appellant was a member of ISIS or their purported fronts. Mere framing of charge does not create any embargo against grant of bail as the consideration for framing the charge is different from the one required for grant of bail. Appellant has undergone incarceration for more than five and half years and the trial are not likely to conclude any time soon and, therefore, his fundamental right as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India has been seriously jeopardized, entitling him to be released on bail on that count alone.

Contention of the respondent:

There are serious allegations against the appellant and the learned Trial Court has already come to a definite conclusion that there is a prima facie case against him for offences under Section 18 & 20 UAPA. According to the respondents, there are following clear-cut allegations and if all these allegations are read conjunctively, it would clearly reveal his complicity qua offences under Section 18 & 20 UAPA. One loaded pistol was recovered possession and the fact he had purchased the same from four juveniles was found to be correct. Appellant was found in possession of two electronic devices, and it was found that he was found using Black Berry Messenger for communicating with his associates. Appellant and his co-accused had procured illicit arms and had come to Delhi together and were to leave for Kashmir together in furtherance of their conspiracy.

Legal Provisions:

Section 18 & 20 of UAPA- Punishment for Organizing Terrorist Camps
Punishment for Being a Member of a Terrorist Gang or Organization
Section 43D(5) of UAPA- makes it virtually hard to grant a bail.
Section 10 of Evidence Act- pertains to the admissibility of evidence in cases involving conspiracy.


  • Whether in view of the fact that charges have already been framed and such charges have not been challenged by the appellant, whether bail plea can be considered and whether the court can go on to opine that there are no reasonable grounds for believing the accusation to be prima facie true?

  • What should be the level of scrutiny for believing the same? Whether the appellant has been able to show that there is no prima facie case against him?
  • Whether despite such statutory bar being in place and when prima facie is found to be made out, bail can still be granted in order to safeguard his fundamental rights.

Court analysis and Judgement:

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Gurwinder Singh Vs. State of Punjab & Anr. 2024 SCC On-Line SC 109, the impact of Section 43D (5) of UAPA was delineated and it was observed that the conventional idea in bail jurisprudence – bail is the rule and jail is the exception – does not find any place in UAPA. It further observed that exercise of general power to grant bail under UAPA is severely restrictive in scope. In National Investigation Agency v. Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali: 2019 SCC On-Line SC 461 elaborate guidelines was laid about the approach that the Courts must partake in, while considering bail application under UAPA. In context of the meaning attributable to “prima facie true‟, it observed that material collected by the investigating agency, on the face of it, must show the complicity of the accused in relation to the offence and must be good and sufficient to establish a given fact or chain of facts constituting the stated offence, unless rebutted or contradicted by other evidence. It also observed that at the stage of giving reasons for grant or rejection of bail, the elaborate examination or dissection of evidence was not required and the Court is merely expected to record a finding on the basis of broad probabilities. Thus, once charges are framed, it can be easily assumed that there is a very strong suspicion against the accused. Therefore, in such a situation, the task of any such accused becomes much more onerous and challenging as it is never going to be easy for anyone to satisfy that the same set of material, which compelled the court to frame charges on the basis of strong prima facie case, would persuade it to hold to the contrary, by declaring that such accusation was not prima facie true. Be that as it may, there can never be any restriction or embargo on moving application seeking bail. Such unfettered right remains available as long as the proceedings are alive.  As per allegations appearing on record and facts and circumstances placed before the court, the appellant was continuously in touch with his co-accused, travelling with him and arranging weapons. He was in touch with militants as well and met one of them in Delhi. Conspiracy has to be inferred by connecting dots from bunch of circumstances. Moreover, Section 10 of Evidence Act cannot be kept aside which visualizes such type of situation and makes the actions and the statements of co- conspirator to be relevant as against the others. Appellant does not seem to be in any position to wriggle out of the statutory bar contained in proviso of Section 43D (5) of UAPA as there are clear-cut allegations which go on to indicate that accusation against him is prima facie true.  The appellant was in touch with cadres of ISIS which is sufficient to give insight of his culpable mind. In Arup Bhuyan v. State of Assam, (2023) 8 SCC 745, it has been observed that mere membership of banned organization is also sufficient to incriminate, without there being any overt act. Learned counsel for the appellant has prayed that accused has already undergone incarceration for more than 5 ½ years and trial is not likely to conclude in near future. It is argued there is no likelihood of case getting disposed of in near future and, therefore, on the strength of Union of India v. K.A. Najeeb, (2021) 3 SCC 713, it is prayed that despite the aforesaid statutory bar, Constitution Court can always grant bail so that the right of speedy trial and that of life and liberty do not stand defeated.  However, in the case in hand, the maximum sentence provided under Section 18 & 20 UAPA is imprisonment for life and there is nothing which may indicate that prosecution is acting in a manner which is detrimental to his fundamental rights. The learned trial court has already observed that it, being already conscious about such fundamental right of the accused, was taking up the matter diligently by giving shortest possible dates. Therefore, there is no further requirement of passing any further direction in this regard. Resultantly, finding no substance in the appeal, we hereby dismiss the same.

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The Kerala High Court ruled in favor of the company, applying the “reverse onus” principle and convicted the accused in a cheque bounce case.


Decided on: 17th, OCTOBER 2023

Writ C No. – 1412 OF 2011



The High Court of Kerala in Ernakulam, India, heard this criminal appeal case. It concerns claims made in accordance with Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act regarding dishonored checks. Popular Motor Corporation, the appellant, filed the complaint against Vinod Bhaskar, the accused, who was found not guilty by the trial court because of alleged flaws in the complaint.

The High Court considered whether the complainant firm had the legal authority to file the complaint after the case was appealed. The accused was found guilty after the High Court reversed the trial court’s ruling in favor of the complainant. This case raises legal concerns about the prerequisites for submitting complaints under Section 138, especially in situations where the complainant is a business or is represented by authorized staff. It also highlights how the burden of proof in these kinds of situations is shifted to the accused.


Popular Motor Corporation lodged a complaint against Vinod Bhaskar in this instance for sending out two cheques that bounced. The High Court decided in favor of Popular Motor Corporation, highlighting the complainant’s legal position and the accused’s obligations under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, despite the trial court’s finding that the accused was not guilty.


The High Court ruled in favor of the company, applying the “reverse onus” principle and convicting the accused. In addition to being sentenced to one day in prison, the accused was also mandated to pay the company damages.

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Written by- Kusuma R

Cheque Bounce Case Kerala Hc




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