New Delhi [India], October 2 (ANI): The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Centre seeking its response on a plea challenging the government's denial to grant Income Tax relaxation to seafarers, who were forced to stay in the country due to the COVID-19 situation.
A bench headed by Justice RF Nariman issued notice to the Centre and sought its reply on the petition, filed by 'Merchant Navy Officers and Ladies Association', questioning the Central government's decision to refuse to grant Income Tax relaxation to seafarers.
The petition has challenged the validity of May 8, 2020, notification by the Finance Ministry's, Central Board of Direct Taxes that had denied the seafarers (non-resident status holders) concessions in assessing Income Tax for the financial year 2019-20 and 2020-21 on compassionate grounds due to COVID-19.
Through its notification, the Centre had declined to provide tax relaxation for the period of 60 days to the seafarers, who stayed for more than 182 days in India. The petition sought a direction for a concession of minimum 60 days.
The plea said that the government took an "arbitrary view" by ignoring the fact that all the world's major ports were closed and airlines service suspended across the world due to COVID-19 since January, and this forced the Indian seafarers to stay in the country for more than 182 days. (ANI)