Farewell Speech to Hon'ble Shri G.C. Gupta

The President of the Tribunal Hon'ble Justice Dev Darshan Sud, Hon’ble Vice President Shri G.C. Gupta, Hon’ble Members of the Tribunal, respected  Smt. G.C. Gupta and family members of Shri Gupta, representatives of the Department, my fellow colleagues at the Bar, ladies and gentlemen.

We have assembled here today to bid farewell to Hon'ble Shri G.C. Gupta on his superannuation after a distinguished and exemplary period of service in the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal spread over more than 18 years.

Born on 19th October 1955, Shri G.C. Gupta is a Libran, and exhibits most of the traits associated with all the Librans.   Most Librans are handsome people, tall and imposing and are generally movie stars. I am sure, all of you will agree that Shri G.C. Gupta belies his age and can pass off very easily to be a 45 years handsome young man. 

Shri G.C. Gupta's father, Late Shri  M.L. Gupta was an eminent tax Advocate and was the President of Rohtak Tax Bar Association for nearly 20 years.  Shri Gupta, a descendent of this eminent family, completed his L.L.B. from Punjab University at Chandigarh, and started to practice in Income tax at Rohtak.  Soon, he developed roarring practice and was elected as the Secretary of the Tax Bar Association, Rohtak.

Shri G.C. Gupta joined the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal in December, 1997 and was posted to Mumbai.  Except for a short stint of one year in Kolkata as a Member, he remained in Mumbai for nearly 10 years till his promotion as Vice-President in 2009.  Soon after his promotion, he was posted to Hyderabad for about two years and thereafter, to Ahmedabad in 2011. In early  2015, he was posted to Delhi from where, he is superannuating today.

Shri G.C. Gupta has very wide and varied interests.  He has been an author of the book "Valuation of immovable properties under Direct Taxes".  He is the revising author of the book titled "Income Tax Pleadings, Practice and Conveyancing" that was published in 2003.He has been a prolific writer, having authored many articles on income tax which were regularly published in leading tax magazines and journals.  A great philanthropist, he is currently the Chairman of Vaish Educational Society, Rohtak, which is an educational institution having about 15,000 students.  The institution is spread over nearly 350 acres.

A deeply religious person, he is also the Vice-Chairman of Baba Mastnath Educational Institution which runs many institutions, dental colleges and free eye hospitals at Rohtak.  He is the Founder Member of many religious and charitable institutions. 

Shri G.C. Gupta has been an outstanding judge of unimpeachable integrity possessing immense versatility and judicial skills of a very high order. He has dispensed justice strictly in accordance with the laws of the land supported by detailed reasoning and with the promptings of a sensitive and an understanding heart.

He has rendered several epoch making judgments bristling with erudition and our journals and digests provide ample testimony to them. 

Respected Sir, your path breaking decision in the case of Employees Provident Fund Organization, ITA No. 1766 dated 10.04.2015 will go down in the annals of history as an outstanding example of Judge made law.  In that decision, it was held that an order passed by the Commissioner Appeals rejecting the assessee's application for stay of demand is an order u/s 250 of the Act and is appealable before the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal.  The appeal lies against the order of the Commissioner Appeals disposing the application for stay notwithstanding the fact that there is no appeal pending before the Tribunal in respect of quantum. It is a decision based on sound legal principles and will go a long way in alleviating the hardship faced by the hapless tax payers in the hands of the administrative machinery in the Income-tax Department whose sole aim is to collect tax regardless of the merits of the case. 

Sir, even though you had a very short stint of less than a year months in Delhi, you have endeared yourself to all the members of Bar with your highly affable and pleasant demeanor, your easy accessibility on matters relating to the institutions at large and most of all by your ever smiling face.  You have been quick to admit mistakes, if any, and take remedial measures.  You have also held firm in your belief and decisions considered by you to be in the bonafide interest of the institution. One such decision is to turn all Fridays into regular working days to the discomfort of us all as you believed that it would help in bringing down the ever mounting pendency of cases.

Sir, you have been a strict disciplinarian and the results are, therefore, for all of us to see.  Orders are promptly despatched  and there is a constant endeavor to ensure that the notices of hearing are sent well in time to the assessees. Within the limited resources available at your disposal, your honour has tried to improve the infrastructure and make the atmosphere more convivial.

Your honour's post retirement period will surely mark the beginning of another glorious inning in your life.  You will actively be able to pursue the various charitable activities aimed at imparting free and quality education to young boys and girls and also providing medical assistance and service to the needy. You will be able to practice charity and spirituality with greater fervor and devotion.

I am also aware that you will not divorce this very interesting and complicated field of direct taxes and will not allow 41 years of experience and knowledge acquired so assiduously go waste.  Sir, we consider it our proud privilege to invite you to be the member of our Bar for life and remain associated with us in our activities.      

Ladies and gentlemen, even after 18 years of service in the Tribunal, Shri G.C. Gupta does not seem near to superannuation age. Endowed with a cheerful smile and so youthful and energetic, he has many many years and decades of purposeful active life ahead of him. 

Shri G.C. Gupta's three sons, Naveen, Manish and Hemant are well settled and have wonderful families of their own. We wish the entire family all the happiness and good luck. 

With these words I, on my own and on behalf of the Bar Association, bid you a warm and fond farewell. Our expressions may be lacking and the words inadequate, but there is an enormous fund of goodwill and a large basket of good wishes, which I believe, would more than make up for the inadequacies.

Ajay Wadhwa
ITAT Bar Association, New Delhi 

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