Does not disclose to ITD that he was NDTV’s advocate for a case in 2011
|S U M M A R Y|
In what could be termed as an act of treachery in the legal history, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain ditched his client, the Income Tax Department (ITD) in NDTV’s petition against the tax payment due of Rs.428 crores. Sanjay Jain suppressed the fact that he was NDTV’s main advocate in December 2011 in the TV channel’s defamation related case against veteran journalist and now Union Minister MJ Akbar and his magazine Sunday Guardian for exposing the ICICI Bank loan fraud. Needless to say that the Income Tax Officers who had worked day and night to put together this case feel let down by the Finance Ministry for fielding Jain.
Who changed the ITD demand for Senior Advocate P S Patwalia to Sanjay Jain? The top persons ruling Finance Ministry and CBDT should answer who did this treachery in an important case where Rs.428 crore tax dues are to be collected for the exchequer.
Sanjay Jain, who is now serving as ASG on an ad-hoc basis did not disclose this fact or clash of interest to Income Tax authorities when he represented Income Tax against NDTV on August 1, 2017. The case is a prestigious one for the ITD as well as the government as the matter involves Rs.428 crores of tax dues to the exchequer by NDTV. The TV channel had filed a Writ Petition against Income Tax before the Bench of Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Pratibha M. Singh against Income Tax’s immediate notice for paying the fine on July 26, 2017, citing the recent Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) Order ratifying the Income Tax demand. The TV channel has not yet filed an appeal against the ITAT Order, which was supposed to be filed in 120 days.
Hearing the fierce arguments of veteran lawyer Harish Salve for NDTV, the Judges directed that Income Tax should take no coercive steps against the channel in payment of Rs.428 crore, posting the matter for August 21.
Sanjay Jain’s allotment to argue for them was a nasty surprise for the ITD. Many officials pointed out that Assessing Officer and many Senior Officers had suggested allotting noted tax lawyer P S Patwalia to represent the ITD. But at the last minute, the Lutyens’ cabal allotted Sanjay Jain to them. It is learned that top officials in Finance Ministry and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) fielded NDTV’s former lawyer Sanjay Jain to represent the ITD. On part of Sanjay Jain, he committed a grave error of professional judgment. It is a well-known fact that Sanjay Jain is of sound mind and that he is not suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
We are publishing below a copy of the Delhi High Court Order on December 7, 2011, showing that Sanjay Jain was the lead lawyer of NDTV against M J Akbar and Sunday Guardian. Having represented NDTV in the ICICI Bank loan fraud reports, Sanjay Jain must surely know that the CBI has recently charge-sheeted NDTV for this humongous fraud? Then why jeopardize ITD’s case by representing them against NDTV?
Another important question: Who changed the ITD demand for Senior Advocate P S Patwalia to Sanjay Jain? The top persons ruling Finance Ministry and CBDT should answer who did this treachery in an important case where Rs.428 crore tax dues are to be collected for the exchequer. Will the same Sanjay Jain be fielded for Income Tax again on next hearing August 21? One hopes not as that would be a grave travesty of justice.
Sanjay Jain also appeared for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in the NDTV cases!
A copy of the Delhi High Court Order on December 7, 2011, showing Sanjay Jain as the main lawyer of NDTV:
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