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Offences and Prosecution under the Income Tax Act, 1961
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Offences and Prosecution under the Income Tax Act, 1961

There are various provisions for compliance relating to taxing provisions and collection of taxes, under the Income-tax Act, 1961.

The Income-Tax Act enforces the tax compliance in a threefold manner; namely:-
  1. The imposition of interests.
  2. The imposition of penalties and,
  3. Prosecutions

Offences & Prosecution
 
The offences and prosecution proceedings are included in Chapter XXII under section 275A to section 280D of the Act. However, the provisions mentioned in the above chapter do not directly deal with the procedures for the prosecution, governed by the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. Unless the contrary is provided, the provisions of the said Code are to be followed relating to all offences under the Income-tax Act. An example would be that the section 292A of the Income Tax Act 1961 prescribes the section 360 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which defines the order to release on probation of ethical conduct or after admonition and the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958, it would not apply to a person convicted unless the accused is under eighteen of age. The Finance Act, 2012, has inserted section 280A to 280D, where the Central Government gives the power to constitute Special Courts with the consultation of the Chief Justices of the jurisdictional High Courts, respectively. The offence is tackled in that Magistrate Court in whose territorial jurisdiction an offence is committed.
 
Procedure before Court

When the complaint gets filed before the court, the summons, along with the complaint, is sent to the accused to attend the proceeding of the court on a particular day. As the complaint filed is a criminal complaint, the accused must be present before the court unless the court gives the specific exemption.

The court issues a warrant against the accused if he is not present in the court on that particular date. If the court issues the warrant, the accused may be arrested and produced before the court, unless the accused secures bail. The hearings get started in a matter, the court initiate to frame charge against the accused. Framing of the charge means the court charges the accused of the offences purported to be committed by him based on the complaint and on seeing the primary evidence after hearing him. After hearing the accused, if the court feels that there is no clear case against the said accused, then the court can dismiss the particular complaint.

If the court feels that there is a fact of the matter in the complaint, then the proceedings shall be continued as per the Criminal Procedure Code, i.e. the charges will be framed. The Assessing officers who have filed the complaint should be aware that they have to be examined before taking the final decision in the case even if they get retired from their services. They may still have to attend the proceedings in court. Therefore, it is essential that the concerned officer may have to examine the consequences.

The appeal will lie under section 374 (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure to the court of the session if the trial results in a conviction. The appeal will be heard under section 381 of the Criminal Procedure Code, either by the Additional Sessions Judge or Sessions Judge. The appeal is to be presented in the prescribed form accompanied by a copy of the Judgment appealed within 30 days from the date of order, as per the Limitation Act.

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