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Tata-Mistry row: Tax tribunal suo moto junks negative remarks on Cyrus Mistry

Tata-Mistry row: Tax tribunal suo moto junks negative remarks on Cyrus Mistry
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Mumbai: In an unprecedented move, the Mumbai bench of the income tax appellate tribunal (ITAT) has retracted the critical remarks it made on Cyrus Mistry in its recent order that restored the tax-exempt status of the three key Tata Trusts.

In a major moral victory for the past chairman of Tata Group who was unceremoniously sacked on October 24, 2016, the tribunal issued a corrigendum on Wednesday to its December 28 order saying "the critical remarks were due to a typo." The corrigendum issued by president of the tribunal P P Bhatt and vice-president Pramod Kumar, clarifies that the first order made certain "inadvertent references to Mistry because of a few typo errors."

Further, it says in observations on Mistry one fact that was inadvertently missed out was that the information furnished by Mistry was in response to a notice from the assessing officer.

It further says, "The above corrections will have no impact on the outcome of the appeal and the outcome of the appeal remains the same." The Mistry family has welcomed the suo motu retraction saying, the immediate correction of wild allegations in the ITAT order is a vindication of truth and justice.

"We note that the income tax appellate tribunal has issued a corrigendum on its own, to correct the wild personal allegations made against Mistry that formed part of its December 28 order, in a proceeding where Mistry was not even a party," the Mistry family said.

In the two-page corrigendum, the tribunal says, the error happened as para 37 in the first order had to be numbered as 47 on page 60. Accordingly, para 37 stands now substituted as 47 and all remaining paras are renumbered as 48 to 67, instead of 38 to 57.

Further the tribunal says, "some inadvertent errors have crept in the order dated December 28 At page 60-61, certain observations were made about Mistry. One fact, which was inadvertently missed out was that the information furnished by Mistry was in response to a notice from assessing officer.

"Under these circumstances, the observations made in para 38, which is now renumbered on account of typographical mistake as para 48, is modified by substituting as under:-

"Para 48. It is well known that Mistry, an ex-chairman of the Tata Group, was removed from his position in Tata Group on October 24, 2016, and within eight weeks of his removal, he sends this material in response to a notice, against the trusts in the Tata Group, including the assessee before us, to the assessing officer.

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