Why in news?
A division bench of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) through web-based video conferencing platform, heard and disposed of an urgent stay petition on 24th April 2020. It was the first time ever that hearing was done through video conferencing.
The ITAT benches based in 27 locations are equipped to hold similar hearings through VC on petitions made by assesses or revenue department on urgent matters as and when exigencies arise.
- ITAT is a quasi-judicial institution set up in January, 1941 and specializes in dealing with appeals under the Direct Taxes Acts.
- It was setup under section 5A of the Income Tax Act, 1922.
- It was the first experiment in tribunalization in the history of India. ITAT is referred to as ‘Mother Tribunal’ being the oldest Tribunal in the country.
- It is second appellate authority under the direct taxes and first independent forum in its appellate hierarchy.
- It functions under the Department of Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Law and Justice, and is kept away from any kind of control by the Ministry of Finance.
- The orders passed by the ITAT are final, an appeal lies to the High Court only if a substantial question of law arises for determination.