?IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS %DATED: 29/01/2009 *CORAM THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE G.RAJASURIA +CRP. PD. No.3794 of 2008 #V.K.Subramaniam $K.Mani !FOR PETITIONER : N.Manokaran ^FOR RESPONDENT : N.Umapathi :ORDER
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE G.RAJASURIA
C.R.P.(PD).3794 of 2008
M.P.No.1 of 2008
2. S.Vijayakumar … Petitioners
2. A.S.Senthilkumar .. Respondents
This civil revision petition is preferred against the order dated 29.08.2008 passed by the learned Additional District Judge cum Fast Track Court, Namakkal in I.A.No.130 of 2008 in O.S.No.271 of 2004.
For Petitioners : Mr.N.Manokaran For Respondents : Mr.N.Umapathi ORDER
Animadverting upon the order dated 29.08.2008 passed by the learned Additional District Judge cum Fast Track Court, Namakkal in I.A.No.130 of 2008 in O.S.No.271 of 2004, this civil revision petition is focussed.
2. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioners as well as the learned counsel appearing for the respondents.
3. A summarisation and summation of the facts, which are absolutely necessary and germane for the disposal of this civil revision petition would run thus:
The respondents herein filed the suit O.S.No.271 of 2004 seeking the following reliefs:
“- a) to direct the defendants to receive the balance of sale price amount of Rs.1,00,000/- from the plaintiffs to execute and register the sale deed with respect to suit properties in favour of the plaintiffs at the cost of the plaintiffs within the time stipulated, failing which the said sale deed be executed and registered by the Court in favour of the plaintiffs for and on behalf of the defendants as per the provisions of C.P.C and permitting the plaintiffs to deposit the sum of Rs.1,00,000/- before the Court.
– to direct the defendants to deliver possession of the suit properties to the plaintiffs failure of the same making provision for delivery through the process of the Court.
– to direct the defendants to refund and pay to the plaintiffs a sum of Rs.7,50,000/- with interest at 9% a sum of Rs.8,62,500/- with and subsequent interest at the rate of 9% from the date of suit till the date of realization.
– creating a charge over the suit properties for due payment of the sum of Rs.8,62,500/- with interest at 9% from the date of suit till the date of realization and enabling the plaintiffs to bring the suit properties in Court auction sale for realization of amounts.”
The trial has commenced and when the matter has been posted for cross-examining the plaintiff’s side witness, the defendants filed I.A.No.130 of 2008 for summoning the income tax returns submitted by the plaintiffs from the Income Tax authorities concerned; whereupon the Court dismissed it. Being aggrieved by and dissatisfied with the said order, this revision is focussed on various grounds.
4. The learned counsel for the revision petitioners/defendants, placing reliance on the grounds of revision, would develop his argument to the effect that the lower court was wrong in assuming and presuming that the Income tax Authorities do have the privilege of keeping the returns as confidential ones and therefore they are not bound to produce the documents when summoned by the Court and such a view taken by the lower Court is antithetical to the decision of the Hon’ble Apex Court reported in AIR 1992 Supreme Court 990 (M/s.Dagi Ram Pindi Lall and another vs. Trilok Chand Jain and others).
5. A bare perusal of the Hon’ble Apex Court decision would reveal as per its words that the income tax returns submitted after 01.04.1964 in respect of assessment years 1964-65 onwards, no privilege could be claimed when Court summons the same.
6. The learned counsel for the respondents/plaintiffs would submit that no purpose would be served by summoning the income tax authorities and even if any returns are produced by them, it will not disclose any information, which would be favourable to the defendant.
7. Be that as it may, at this stage, while dealing with the interim application, the Court need not go into the merits of the case. The court should have taken a lenient view by way of allowing the interim application so that the parties concerned will not have the grievance that due opportunity have not been given to them during trial.
8. At this juncture, I am of the view that concerning the returns submitted by the plaintiffs to the Income Tax Department, copies would be available with the plaintiffs themselves and if that be so, they themselves could produce them before the lower Court so that time could be saved. In the event of the plaintiffs not producing the same, it is for the Court to issue summons to the Income Tax Department to produce such documents. Hence, in these circumstances, the order of the lower court is set aside and the I.A is allowed as directed supra.
9. With the above observation, this civil revision petition is disposed of. No costs. Consequently, the connected miscellaneous petition is closed.
Additional District Judge cum
Fast Track Court,