Delhi Woman Faces Jail Time for Evading Tax Filing on Rs 2 Crore Income

In a significant legal development, a woman in Delhi has been sentenced to six months in jail for failing to file an income tax return on a substantial income of Rs two crores. The case, initiated by the Income Tax Office (ITO), highlights the importance of adhering to tax obligations and the consequences of non-compliance.

The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Mayank Mittal, after evaluating the facts and circumstances of the case, pronounced the verdict on March 4. The accused, identified as Savitri, faces a simple imprisonment of six months along with a fine of Rs 5,000. In default of paying the fine, the sentence includes an additional one-month imprisonment. The court, however, granted her 30 days’ bail to contest the order.

Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Arpit Batra underscored that the severity of the sentence is not solely based on the evaded tax amount but serves as a deterrent for timely return filing. The court emphasized the purpose of such provisions is to instill a sense of responsibility among taxpayers to fulfill their obligations promptly.

The defense, representing the accused, argued for leniency, considering her social circumstances, asserting that Savitri is a widow and lacks formal education. The defense highlighted her solitary responsibility for the family, emphasizing the absence of anyone else to care for them.

The prosecution’s case outlined a series of notices and warnings issued to Savitri, starting with a letter in September 2017, seeking verification of her income tax return for the assessment year 2014-15. Subsequent notices and penalties followed when the accused failed to respond or comply. The ITO eventually sought prosecution under Section 276CC read with 279 of the Income Tax Act.

The court, in its judgment on February 28, asserted that the complainant successfully proved the service of notices and the accused’s duty to file a return. The accused failed to bring forth evidence or facts to bring her case within the scope of Section 276CC’s proviso. The court concluded by stating, “Accordingly, the accused is held guilty of not filing the return of income for the assessment year 2014-15 under Section 276CC of The Act. Accordingly, the accused is convicted for an offence punishable under Section 276CC of the Act.”

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