Procedure in Prosecution Proceedings under Income Tax Act, 1961

Sections 280A, 280B, 280C and 280D have been introduced by The Finance Act, 2012 w.e.f. 1st day of July, 2012. These provisions deal with the procedure in prosecution proceedings under the Income Tax Act, 1961. These provisions, inter alia, deal with the constitution of Special Courts for conducting Prosecution Proceedings under the Income Tax Act, 1961, appointment of public prosecutors for proceedings before Special Court, cognizance of cases, trial of certain offences as summons case and the general applicability of The Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.

  1. Constitution of Special Courts

Section 280A of the Income Tax Act, 1961

  • empowers the Central Government,
  • acting in consultation of the Chief Justice of the High Court,
  • to designate by notification in the Official Gazette,
  • one or more courts of Magistrate of the First Class as a Special Court
  • for trial of offences punishable under Chapter XXII of the Income Tax Act, 1961
  • for such area(s) or for such case(s) or class or group of case(s) as may be specified in the notification.

Transitional Provision

A court competent to try offences under section 292 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 which has not been designated as a special court may continue to try the offences pending before it till their disposal. (Clause (ii) of Proviso to Section 280B (a)).

Appointment of Public Prosecutors. (Section 280D)

  • The person conducting the prosecution before Special Court shall be deemed to be a Public Prosecutor within the meaning of Clause (u) of Section 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
  • The Central Government may also appoint for any case or class of cases or group of cases a Special Public Prosecutor.
  • A person shall not be qualified to be appointed as a Public Prosecutor or a Special Public Prosecutor under Section 280D of the Income Tax Act, 1961 unless he has been in practice as an advocate for not less than seven years, requiring special knowledge of law.

 

  1. Cognizance of Cases
  • The special court may,
  • upon a complaint made by an authority authorized in this behalf under this Act
  • take cognizance of the offence for which the accused is committed to trial.

(Section 280B(b) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.)

 

 

  1. Trial of certain offences as summons case (Section 280C)

The special court shall try an offence under Chapter XXII of the Income Tax Act, 1961 punishable with imprisonment not exceeding two years or with fine or with both, as a summons case. (that is Sections 275A, 275B, 276, 276A, 276AB, 276C(1)(ii), 276C(2), 276cc(II), 276D, 277(ii), 277A, 278(ii) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.)

The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, as applicable in the case of trial of summons case, shall apply accordingly.

Chapter XX of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 comprising Section 251 to Section 259 deals with trial of summons cases.

  1. Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to apply to proceedings before Special Court. (Section 280D)

The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (including provisions as to bails and  bonds) shall apply to the proceedings before a Special Court.

[Text of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – https://indiankanoon.org/doc/445276/ ]

 

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