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Tax administration needs to follow greater compliance, says Soli Dastur

Launching the 10th edition of Kanga & Palkhivala’s ‘The Law & Practice of income-tax’ in Mumbai noted income tax jury Soli Dastur said there is a need to improve tax administration. The 10th edition of this classic book has been updated by prolific writer and senior advocate Arvind Datar


Renowned tax jurist Sohrab Erach Dastur, popularly known as Soli Dastur, said today that income tax (I-T) will be respectable if greater compliance is encouraged for all, especially those who administer it. He was speaking at a Moneylife Foundation event to launch 10th edition of Kanga & Palkhivala’s ‘The Law & Practice of income-tax’ updated by prolific writer and senior advocate Arvind Datar, in Mumbai. The packed audience of Moneylife Foundation was also addressed by the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sam Bharucha. Also present in the dias was Behram A Palkhivala, the brother of Nani Palkhivala.


Lauding the efforts taken by Mr Datar in updating the book, Mr Dastur said, “This is not just a compendium of I-T related cases, but Mr Datar has not hesitated to comment on certain judgements and provisions of the I-T Act. Mr Datar even criticised a few decisions given by Courts like the reopening of assessment.”


Expressing unhappiness over courts deliberating over cases where some other court has already given judgements after word to word scrutiny of the I-T law, Mr Dastur said, “(The Courts) should not start fresh look again and again. Courts really need to be updated about such cases by advocates.”


Talking about modern tax laws, Mr Dastur said, “There is a need to improve tax administration. If you don’t give tax credit where it is due, then taxpayers would not respect you.”  


Mr Dastur also expressed that Mr Datar should come out with updated edition of the book on 16 January 2020, the birth centenary of Nani Palkhivala. Replying to this, Mr Datar said he would try and bring not 11th but 12th edition of this classic book. He also informed the audience about the overwhelming response received for the 10th edition and how the publishers, LexisNexis are compelled to reprint the edition in such a short time due to huge demand.


The first edition of Kanga & Palkhivala’s ‘The Law & Practice of income-tax’ was released in 1950 when Palkhivala was just 30. The success of the book triggered off a copyright-infringement suit by Sampath Iyengar, the author of “Law of Income-tax” and an accomplished lawyer. Mr Iyengar argued that Palkhivala had copied from his book.


How Mr Iyengar built his case and how Mr Palkhivala defended himself successfully is a fascinating and compelling story in itself. Interestingly, the judgement of Madras High Court in this case has not been reported in most of the law journals even though it was the first in India on copyright violations related with a commentary on a statute. Legal luminaries Soli Sorabjee and Arvind Datar have put together the fascinating battle between Mr Iyengar and Mr Palkhivala, two of the finest legal minds, in a book called, "Nani Palkhivala: The Courtroom Genius".


Coming back to the ‘The Law & Practice of income-tax’, after the demise of Palkhivala, the publisher brought in Supreme Court lawyer Dinesh Vyas to update the book. Mr Vyas ensured that the core of the book remains untouched and only necessary updates were added in the book.


For the latest and 10th edition, the publishers handed over the baton to lawyer cum author Arvind Datar. The book contains a pure statement of the law, based on case law and the statute, as amended from time to time. In contrast with other books, the focus is not on computations and administrative matters but an exposition of the principles governing income-tax law. The commentary by Mr Datar also takes into account all the amendments right up to the present date.


The two volume book also comes with a CD that contains entire text of Income Tax Act (1922 and 1961), the Income Tax Rules, the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement as well as important circulars and all allied Acts and Rules.




Ameet Patel

3 years ago

Three cheers for Moneylife team for holding this event. Kanga and Palkhivala's treatise on tax is a bible for tax practitioners. I am sure that the quality of the book would remain top class with the involvement of Mr Data.

Avinash Murkute

3 years ago

Those who have filed IT returns after the due date have received the refund and those who respected Deadline are still waiting. May be next week, in couple of weeks, very soon.

nagesh kini

3 years ago

The foreword to the first book by Mr. Palkhivala is a piece of classic English literature that brings out his first love for the English language - he'd have been Prof. NAP had he not been rejected "for want of teaching experience". I strongly suggest it as a must read for all, even to those not knowing tax laws.
He also brings out effectively the fine distinction between "tax planning" as being patently legal and "tax evasion" that is blatantly illegal. This was later confirmed by what now goes by as the famous "McDowell Judgement."

Sensex, Nifty headed lower: Weekly closing report

Nifty may try to rally but selling pressure seems very strong

The BSE 30-share Sensex closed at 20758.49 (down 93 points, 0.45%) while the NSE Nifty closed at 6171.45 (down 40 points, 0.64%).


We anticipated that the downward pressure on Nifty would be strong, however, the index closed marginally down on Monday, making it the fourth consecutive trading session when the index closed in the negative. The HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers (PMI) Index for the services industry fell to 46.7 in December from 47.2 in November, registering the sixth consecutive monthly drop in output levels, the longest period of continuous reduction since the 2008/2009 global financial crisis. The HSBC India Composite Output Index, which maps both services and manufacturing, stood at 48.1, below the crucial 50 mark, for the sixth consecutive month. The index dropped from November's 48.5, indicating a slightly faster rate of contraction.


Tuesday was the fifth day when the market closed lower. The market hardly managed to sustain itself in the positive for little time after which it made a quick slide into the negative. Markit Economics said that the HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from the PMI surveys, signaled overall growth of output across global emerging markets in December 2013. Manufacturing output continued to rise at a faster pace than services activity. The service sector output rose at the slowest rate in three months. The HSBC Emerging Markets Future Output Index fell to a six-month low in December. But, the index's average in Q4 was higher than those in the previous two quarters.


Wednesday was the first day of 2014 when the indices closed in the positive, however, we did not foresee much of strength in the benchmark to continue the trend. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said India's economic growth in the current fiscal year will likely remain flat at 5%. A number of international as well as domestic factors have contributed to the slowdown in India's economic growth in the recent past, Dr Singh said.


Weakness on the bourses again set in on Thursday. The news from US that the minutes of the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed that a majority of officials judged the effects of the monthly asset purchases to be diminishing over time. China’s producer prices extended the longest slide since the 1990s in December, adding to evidence that the world’s second-largest economy weakened last month.


The earnings season for December 2013 quarter has officially started, with Infosys earnings announcement. Markets on Friday reacted mildly to Infosys’s earnings result which was up, both in rupee and dollar terms. However, revenues in dollar terms grew anemically, despite an improved American economy. However, Infosys management upgraded their outlook and expects dollar income to grow at double-digits for March 2014 quarter.


For the week, among the other indices on the NSE, the top two performers were  Pharma (3%) and Media (2%) while the worst two performers were PSU Bank (5%) and Realty (7%).


Among the Nifty stocks, the top five stocks for the week were Dr. Reddy's Lab (5%); Sun Pharma (5%); Coal India (4%); H C L Tech (3%) and ONGC (3%) while the Jaiprakash Associates (8%); Axis Bank (8%); D L F (7%); Hindalco Industries (7%) and Tata Steel (7%).


Of the 1,271 companies on the NSE, 556 companies closed in the green, 673 companies closed in the red while 42 companies closed flat.


Out of the 27 main sectors tracked by Moneylife, top five and the bottom five sectors for this week were:


Top ML sector


Worst ML sector


Oil & Gas


Real Estate






Software & IT Serv




Farm & Farm Inputs






Non-Ferrous Metals




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