Prannoy Roy in Abu Dhabi
File photo of NDTV Prannoy Roy | Photo by Ana-Bianca Marin/Getty Images
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New Delhi: In a relief to NDTV Ltd, the Supreme Court Friday quashed the notice of the Income Tax department seeking to re-assess the income of the media house for financial year 2007-08.

A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Deepak Gupta set aside the August 10, 2017 order of the Delhi High Court which had dismissed the petition of NDTV Ltd against the I-T re-assessment notice.

We, accordingly, allow the appeal by holding that the notice issued to the assessee (NDTV) shows sufficient reasons to believe on the part of the assessing officer to re-open the assessment but since the revenue has failed to show non-disclosure of facts the notice having been issued after a period of 4 years is required to be quashed, the bench said.

The I-T department had issued re-assessment notice in March 2015 to the media group after noting that Rs 642 crore has allegedly not been computed for the tax assessment purposes of NDTV for financial year 2007-2008.

It was alleged that media group’s UK based subsidiary, NDTV Network PLC, had issued a step-up coupon bonds for amount of USD 100 million in July 2007, through a bank of New York for a period of five years.

Without going into the merits of the case, the top court framed three questions related to the dispute for its consideration which included whether in the facts and circumstances of the case, it can be said that the revenue had a valid reason to believe that undisclosed income had escaped assessment.

It also framed questions on whether the assessee did not disclose fully and truly all material facts during the course of original assessment which led to the finalisation of assessment order and undisclosed income escaping detection.

While answering one of the issues framed, the bench said, At the stage of issuance of notice, the assessing officer is to only form a prima facie view. In our opinion the material disclosed in assessment proceedings for subsequent years was sufficient to form such a view. We accordingly hold that there were reasons to believe that income had escaped assessment in this case .

Dealing with the issue of alleged disclosure of material facts by NDTV, the bench said though the I-T department had argued before it that the media group has suppressed the facts, the revenue department had taken an opposite stand before the high court.

We are clearly of the view that the revenue, in view of its counter-affidavit before the High Court that it was not relying upon the non-disclosure of facts by the assessee, could not have been permitted to orally urge the same, the bench said.

It said, Even otherwise we find that the assessee had fully and truly disclosed all material facts necessary for its assessment and, therefore, the revenue cannot take benefit of the extended period of limitation of 16 years .

The bench noted the proviso two of section 147 of the I-T Act says that limitation period would be 16 years if the revenue is derived from a foreign entity.

It said that if the revenue is to rely upon the second proviso and wanted to urge that limitation of 16 years would apply, then in our opinion in the notice or at least in the reasons in support of the notice, the assessee should have been put to notice that the revenue relies upon the second proviso.

The assessee could not be taken by surprise at the stage of rejection of its objections or at the stage of proceedings before the High Court that the notice is to be treated as a notice invoking provisions of the second proviso of Section 147 of the Act, the bench said.

The top court made it clear that it has not expressed any opinion on whether the Income Tax department could take benefit of the second proviso in the facts of the case.

Therefore, the revenue may issue fresh notice taking benefit of the second proviso if otherwise permissible under law, the bench said, adding that both the parties shall be at liberty to raise all contentions with regard to the validity of such notice.


Also read: CBI books NDTV’s Prannoy & Radhika Roy over alleged FDI violations


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70 COMMENTS

  1. The article is misleading.The court has not given any clean chit to NDTV. There was an error in the notice and the IT department can send a fresh notice correcting the error.It is as simple as that.

  2. NDTV…has lost its charm . 15 yrs to 20 yrs back, this was one of the best channels, coverage of news local and international without bias.

    From last few years, …only one sided story is highlighted… Go back to old times and regain your charm,…by neutral reporting.

    • Those, for whom Camel mutra is prescribed in a Hadeeth should not comment on Gaumutra. SC has not given a clean chit to NDTV but only pointed out an anomaly related to notice.

  3. The fact is some babus are in. The payrolls of Pranab roy.they made the IT case weak.
    Govt should find out these gaddara and corrupt babus and summarily dismiss and stop all privileges

  4. Even if IT department issue fresh notice it will be very difficult for them to establish irregularities. So good bye.

  5. करम गति टारे नहीं टरे,। कर्म फल भुगतने ही पड़ेंगे आज नहीं तो कल , पैसा टैक्स पेयर्स का है और रहेगा बैक का नहीं। वो तो वापस देना ही होगा,चाहे रोकर चाहे हंस कर ! एक समय के डकैत फिरोती का धंधा करने लगे सीधी डकैती छोड़ कर।उनका भी एक ही हश्र होता था ,एक टांग जेल में और एक रेल में। वर्तमान सफेदपोश डकैत ज्यादा स्मार्ट रहे ,उपर नीचे जुगाड लगा बैंकों से लोन ले लेना फिर हेरा-फेरी से इधर-उधर करना , टैक्स चोरी आम बात रही कि , सैंया भए कोतवाल तो डर काहे का,,।फिर लोन वापस न करने की हजार नौटंकी बनाना, उस महमके के भ्रष्टों को खरीद कर अपनी जान बचाने की जुगत लगाना।नहीं लगे तो मौका का फायदा उठा देश से ही भाग जाना ।ये है नये जमाने के उठाईगिरे,जनता के पैसे के पाकेटमार, हेरा-फेरी के हीरो ,और फिर चोरी और सीनाजोरी। ।

  6. The irony is on how news is presented. This is a court Judgement. For starters AY is during the fraudsters regime. Notice should have been issued by them, which they have failed and do not even have an explanation for why notice was not issued. When this current government had taken the same it has not mentioned the section in notice. So the Supreme Court of India says we are quashing this notice and you are free to issue a fresh one with the section of law, if limitation permits (which is permitted even today).
    What has the government done subsequent to this order from Supreme Court of India, issued a fresh notice with the section.
    Irony is crores of Rupees being received by this media group when it had a favourable government and is caught on the rough side with change of government and absolutely no acceptable reply on how a firm on paper was able to raise this huge amounts.
    This is not witch hunting but screwing the WITCH along with the *ITCH for their deeds of looting our country.

  7. With due respect to our Judiciary, one thing needs to be taken into cognizance that Court deals with right legal disposal of all litigations based on evidences. Be it financial or criminal suits, the safety net of Limitation period as defined in for a particular suit cannot be a sufficient ground to quash any ruling, prejudicial to protect the intended offence. Limitation Acts support lawyers to play tricks and mislead the Judgment by influencing dilatory exercise to suit getting time barred that’s a willful negligence Court must take due care of it. That’s the root of Bank’s NPA and encourages the willful individual & Corporate borrowers to escape liability through compromise proposals now on voting system of lending parties under NCLAT to expedite huge pending case that often goes to the benefit of defaulters.This is purely an escape route in legal system. In the instant case, NDTV is pro or against government matters little and doesn’t come under the consideration of any Court. If suppression of taxable income is found to a voluntary action as per prosecution exhibits of IT Department while computing taxable income of assessee, it’s always against the rules of law that deprives government exchequeŕ, a matter much to be looked into by Top Court.

    • Don’t understand the duty of the press, do you? The job of the press is to hold the government to account and to speak truth to power, not act as a cheerleader for the government of the day. And any way, if you want cheerleading — minus the skimpy outfit — please watch Arnab Goswami. Though, I must say I wouldn’t mind watch Arnab screaming if only he did it wearing a skimpy skirt and with pom-poms.

      • They were cheer leaders to erstwhile govts. Fully in connivance fully & completely through UPA1 & 2. With those whom NDTV had falsely implicated coming to power the missing accountability factor made an expected comeback, with extra zing & kick, reaching to heights of hate, fakery and dubiosness.
        No accountability in pandering to one under garb of Journalism.

        • By that logic, even the channels that act as cheerleaders for the current government are also showing no accountability if they are pandering to the government alone, no?

    • I watch NDTV regularly, but never heard anything anti Indian in its coverage. Yes I have heard criticism of the BJP, BJP Govt, Modi etc. but that is not the same thing as being anti Indian. Neither BJP nor MOdi is India.

  8. This antinational and nation breaking channel should be kept under strict vigil and surveillance and I appeal to my fellow bharatians to boycott this channel and junk it in the most stinking dustbin or sump.

  9. Fake news factories. The IT DEPARTMENT has given a statement and re-issued the notice. They are beating the drums as if the SC scolded the IT DEPARTMENT and acquitted NDTV which is not the case.

  10. The let off is purely technical. The Print is doing a disservice to Shekhar Gupta by not talking about this aspect. The last para of the article mentions the aspect but doesn’t enlighten the readers of its importance.

  11. The Apex Court has, as usual, left open for the IT department to reopen the case taking benefit of the second proviso if otherwise permissible under law, Hence relief for now. The Revenue department will issue notice and reopen the case until and unless the NDTV is closed down. Very poor judgment which left the aggrieved party to suffer more this time around.

  12. Supreme court said “Therefore, the revenue may issue fresh notice taking benefit of the second proviso if otherwise permissible under law, the bench said, adding that both the parties shall be at liberty to raise all contentions with regard to the validity of such notice”. Matter is hence open if the department chooses to iron out the technical issues pointed out by the court. Hence by all means quashing of the current notice has not closed the matter. But it is painful to see that on a mere technicality, a huge revenue due to the government, is being permitted to be put down by the court. Is a matter required to be settled on a mere formality, ignoring the substance of it. ?? Is this justice ?! If I can afford a million dollar lawyer then I can troop in any number of technicality. !! Is that what the court desires. ??

    • Time and again these SC judges appeared to be sold out their conscience and pledge to the nation and deliver these type of judgements. It is visible to the common man that over 400 Cr is fudged by NDTV and at SC level they Should have taken this economic offence seriously and guided the IT, ED and CBI to further investigate (all matters together) and submit final reports within one month. This type of judgments you herein SC at least once in a week mostly on PILs. But, in this NDTV case the judges enact ignorance as they sold out. God save this country.

  13. Don’t spread travesty. It has been squashed on technical ground n IT dept will be issuing fresh notice on the basis of provision of 16 years. You are not off the hook so don’t rejoice you will be nailed n will be incarcerated for sure. So don’t rejoice but prepare for the worst when both you n your wife will be in jail.

  14. Don’t FORGET NDTV IS THE FIRST INDIAN SATELITE CHANNEL WHO
    EDUCATED THE MIDERN YOUTH BITH ON INTERNATIONAL AND. INTERNAL AFFAIRS CURRENT BRATS LIKE ARNAB AND RAJDEEP CAME OUT OF NDTV STABLE AFTER GETTING SUFFICIENTLY GROO.MED
    THERE.I STILL HV FOND MEMORIES OF THE WORLD THIS WEEK PROGRAMME HOSTED BY
    PRONOY ROY IN DOOR DARSHAN CHANNEL BESIDES ELECTION ANSLYSIS DURING THE GENERAL ELECTIONS. MY
    GENERATION WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER AND RESPECT PRONOY ROY FOR HIS BRILLIANT WORK
    IN THE ELECTTINUC MEDIA BY PUTTING INDIA
    ON THE INTERNATIONSL MEDIA MAP. MARCH AHEAD NDTV ALONG WITH PRONOY ROY ALING WITH HIS LOYAL SOLDIERS LIKE SRINIVASAN JAIN.

  15. If ndtv i has not done anything wrong and not done any manipulation why they should go to high court and supreme court to prove their case. Should have face income tax officer and prove them wrong. Legal remedy is not necessary. honest people need not fear any one.

  16. It is an open secret that which way NDTV is tilted towards.It is not a rocket science. Crystal clear to one and all. Supreme court verdict is with a rider.
    So it is not the end of the game.Wait and watch…

    .

  17. NDTV has wade through many changes. It used to have it’s own investigating unit which was quite proactive. To me now it gives an impression of adjustment. It Says that adjustment is when an Ulcer becomes a Callous. Still I prefer NDTV over the other sold out channels

  18. It is an open secret that which way NDTV is tilted towards.It is not a rocket science. Crystal clear to one and all. Supreme court verdict is with a rider.
    So it is not the end of the game.Wait and watch…

    .

  19. Can’t rely on newyork times ,and Washington post they are supplied information by these people who are committed anti establishment

  20. Heartening to know! Else, the Loud voice would have become more louder in criticig Lyutens Media forgeting even the fact that He himself is GODI media! All best wishes for your persuit!!

  21. The case has not been settled giving an opportunity use the extended limitation clause. Thus they can continue harass.

  22. Mr Ashok How much do you know NY Times,Do you Need a certificate For our internal revenue matters from USA . Looks you are uneducated ?

  23. It is being seen that the apex court has quashed the case on technical grounds. It has kept opened the doors for continuing litigation. So litigation will continue and the dole beneficiaries will be members of the bar.

  24. What a skewed way of reporting. The court has directed the department to resort to the relevant section under limitation of time for re-opening the assessment and has not passed any observation on the merits. Ndtv is not out of the hook how much ever print and the sympathetic lutyens might like so.

  25. The people in NDTV have constantly promoted anti-India agenda due to its proximity with Christian missionary organization related to faith of Mr. Prannoy Roy. NDTV has often got undisclosed money from US based evangelical organizations.

  26. Whatever may be the consequences do not worry
    God will protect you and do the justice. “Pottruvar pottraytum thootruvar thhootraytum ; Thunindhu sell

  27. In present circumstances government putting all his efforts to stop raise voice against his autocracy. The NDVT doing it’s best and this supreme court judgement will play better role to survive democracy.

  28. everybody knows on whose behest these IT goons were working…ndtv is the only channel who r true nowadays..atleast we hv some faith in supreme court

    • Yes yes….Ndtv is the only channel which telecasted secret information to pak handlers of our security forces operations during 26/11…. Same during URI attack….One of the journalist barkha dutt was involved in brokering a deal between politicians & bureaucrat for making A Raja as telecom minister known as Radia Tape….It is the only shameful channel which was banned for a day…..It’s a favourite channel of ISI, Anti nationals, islamic jihadi, jnu tukde tukde gang, kashmiri terrorists, hafeez saeed, pseudo sickulars…..

  29. The New York Times had high praise for NDTV. It is the default setting on my TV set. Invariably on mute. Must confess even when Off the Cuff is playing …

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