69A. Settlement of dispute and issue of Certificate of Settlement

(1) On receipt of a reference from any court/authority or an application, the Tax Settlement Board shall forward the same to the other party concerned and call upon to furnish the relevant records along with comments.

(2) The Tax Settlement Board shall, for the purposes of holding any settlement, have the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Act No. 5 of 1908) in respect of the following matters, namely:-

(a) the summoning and enforcing the attendance of any witness and examining him on oath;

(b) the discovery and production of any document;

(c) the reception of evidence on affidavits;

(d) the requisitioning of any public record or document or copy of such record or document from any court or office; and

(e) such other matters as may be prescribed.

(3) The Tax Settlement Board shall adopt summary procedure for the disposal of settlement proceedings and dispose off the proceedings within ninety days.

(4) Subject to the provisions of these rules, the Tax Settlement Board shall have power to regulate their own procedure for the purpose of discharging their functions and the Tax Settlement Board may,-

(a) direct to file before it a written statement, stating therein the facts and nature of dispute, points or issues in such dispute and grounds relied in support of or in opposition to, such points or issues, as the case may be, and such party may supplement such statement with any document and other evidence which such party deems appropriate in proof of such facts and grounds and shall send a copy of such statement together with a copy of such document and other evidence, if any, to other party to the application;

(b) require any party to the dispute to file additional statement before it at any stage of the settlement proceedings; and

(c) communicate any document or statement received by it from any party to the dispute to the other party, to enable such other party to present reply thereto.

(5) When statement, additional statement and reply, if any, have been filed to the satisfaction of the Tax Settlement Board, it shall conduct settlement proceedings between the parties to the dispute in such manner as it thinks appropriate taking into account the circumstances of the dispute.

(6) The Tax Settlement Board shall, during the settlement proceedings, assist the parties in their attempt to reach an amicable settlement of the dispute in an independent and impartial manner.

(7) It shall be the duty of every party to the dispute to cooperate in good faith with the Tax Settlement Board in settlement of the dispute relating to the application and to comply with the direction of the Tax Settlement Board to produce evidence and other related documents before it.

(8) The Advocates or the Tax Consultants, unless specially permitted by the Tax Settlement Board under exceptional circumstances recorded in writing, shall not appear in any proceedings before it.

(9) When the Tax Settlement Board, in the aforesaid settlement proceedings, is of the opinion that there exist elements of settlement in such proceedings which may be acceptable to the parties, it may formulate the terms of a possible settlement of the dispute and give to the parties concerned for their observations and in case the parties reach at an agreement on the settlement of the dispute, they shall sign the settlement agreement and the Tax Settlement Board shall pass an order of settlement in terms thereof and furnish a copy of the same to each of the parties concerned.

(10) The Tax Settlement Board may grant facility of payment of the amount mentioned in the settlement order along with amount of interest payable, in monthly installments not exceeding twenty four, subject to such conditions including condition of furnishing security to the satisfaction of the Assessing Authority, as it may deem fit.

(11) The decision of the Tax Settlement Board shall be unanimous.

(12) No penal action against the applicant shall be initiated in the matter under consideration of the Tax Settlement Board, after an order of settlement has been passed. The applicant / dealer shall not be entitled to refund of any amount or other benefit under any Act afterwards.

(13) Where the parties fail to reach at any settlement, the Tax Settlement Board shall order accordingly.

(14) The applicant shall submit to the Tax Settlement Board the proof of deposit of the amount determined in lieu of arrears of tax, penalty, and interest along with the copy of the order of withdrawal of the case, if any, within thirty days from receipt of order of settlement.

(15) After receipt of the proof of deposit of the amount determined and the order of withdrawal of the case, if any, the Tax Settlement Board shall issue a Certificate of Settlement of arrears of tax, penalty and interest in dispute.

(16) The Certificate of Settlement shall be binding on all the parties to the dispute.

(17) In case the applicant fails to deposit the amount determined by the Tax Settlement Board in the stipulated period or such time as may be extended by the Tax Settlement Board, the Certificate of Settlement shall seize to be effective and the whole of the outstanding demand shall be recoverable forthwith.

(18) For all purposes under this rule, amount determined shall be treated to be tax levied or amount of penalty imposed, as the case may be, and date of order made by the Tax Settlement Board shall be treated to be the date of order of assessment or penalty, as the case may be.

(19) Where application of the dealer or other person has been rejected by the Settlement Board, the Assessing Authority shall proceed in the matter in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

(20) Where a case of settlement under this rule is pending before the Settlement Board, nothing shall preclude the Assessing Authority from making re-assessment or passing order to give effect to any appellate/revision-able order pertaining to the assessment years to which settlement case is pending before the Tax Settlement Board.

(21) Where any dispute is pending for settlement before the Tax Settlement Board and settlement order has not been passed, if any additional notice is issued in the same matter on any ground not mentioned in the earlier notice, the applicant or the Assessing Authority may request the Tax Settlement Board to consider the grounds mentioned in such additional notice."