[COVID-19] Supreme Court Stays Kerala & Allahabad HC order staying tax recovery and dues

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The Supreme Court stayed Kerala High Court order and directed the authorities not to levy taxes and recover bank dues from people till April 6 in view of the recent Coronavirus Outbreak.

Arguments by the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Center argued that there cannot be a blanket order for halting recovery of tax. He further argued that the restrain on the recovery of taxed will put the government at prejudice as the financial year is coming to an end on March 31. He also mentioned that the Kerala HC order must be stayed as there is a provision for making online payment of taxes.

Mehta argued that there is no need for all High Courts to pass such stay orders which stops people from paying taxes. Even people who would have volunteered to pay the taxes and filed returns will stop doing so if the HC order does not stay, he added.

Kerala & Allahabad HC orders violated the doctrine of Separation of Powers

The Solicitor General argued that the government is fully aware of the prevailing situation due to coronavirus pandemic and would, on its own, devise a mechanism to tackle this issue.

The centre said: “The order passed by the high courts is in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers in as much as it encroaches upon the functions of the Executive and is opposed to the basic framework of the Constitution of India.”

Court’s orders ex-parte ad-interim stay on HC Order

The Apex Court accepted the Centre’s appeal against the judgement and orders passed by Kerala and Allahabad HC.

“In the meantime, there shall be ex-parte ad-interim stay of the impugned judgment and order(s) passed in the aforesaid writ petitions and of further proceedings before the High Court(s)..,” the bench said.


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