Section Analytics – A Brave New World
Section Analytics is a great way to access all the information related to a section, including cases quickly. This becomes a ready reckoner for you, and helps you get quick answers and take strategic decisions. If you have done this before hand, you have a significant headstart.
You can do this by maintaining a file in your library (online or offline), but you will be severely limited if you do not have state-of-the-art technology to help. Without technology, you will not know if you have all the information you need at your disposal, and you will need to keep manually updating your research frequently. Research should never be the bottleneck to your progress.
What is Section Analytics?
A legislation text is like the root of a tree with many branches. It is ever growing, and over a period of time many cases get associated with its sections and sub-section. CBDT also release circulars, notifications, rules, which are connected to it. And the section itself goes through a transformation over the years. We at Riverus have successfully put together this information in a manner that is visually discernible and easy to engage and interact with. We call this “Section Analytics” as it not only is easy to read but also to analyse and understand.
Cases of a section further have many dimensions: courts, subjects, other related sections, time, outcome etc. The ability to apply filters and search within section cases makes it simple to do a complete research. Let us illustrate with an example.
When providing advice on a taxation matter, it is important to consider all unreported as well as reported cases involving a particular section.
Existing online search providers allow you to search case laws by typing down a section number in the section bar. However, such a search does not specifically screen out each and every case where a specific section has been used.
Section Analytics is a powerful Artificial Intelligence driven method where a computer is taught to automatically identify a section of the tax law within a judgement and thereafter, aggregate all cases where such a section has been used.
The difference between traditional approaches to searching cases by typing down a section number versus using Section Analytics can be significant. Traditional approaches continue to miss many cases where a section has been used. If a case where a section has been used but gets missed by online search provider, it is a missed opportunity for a professional.
The Vodafone Case
Recently, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to consider Section 241A while giving the judgement in the case of Vodafone India Ltd vs ACIT.
In dealing with the question whether the power of withholding refund in respect of AY 2017-18 was validly exercised, the Supreme Court made an observation that in the SLP proceedings, it was not concerned with whether the satisfaction recorded in terms of said Section 241A was otherwise correct or not; rather the question was whether prima facie the exercise of power is in conformity with Section 241A. The Supreme Court of course found that the power was exercised in the manner prescribed by the statute.
Assuming that a professional / in house tax counsel is called upon to advice whether a particular case of exercise of Power u/s 241A is correct or not, it will be needed to review all cases under Section 241A.
Comparison of how the research tools performed
Other Income Tax Search Tool
One of the most used online search database for income tax case laws returned 7 records. The path to access these cases laws involved 3 clicks and a search.
Riverus’ Income Tax Product
For Section 241A, Riverus showed 10 results. Accessing these results from the Section 241A page, was through a simple click.
Cases other products missed
Date: 4 Jun 2020 | HC Delhi | WP withdrawn
The WP has been withdrawn and a separate one is filed by the assessee seeking to quash tho invoking section 241A by DCIT to withold the refund amongst other issues.
Date: 6 March 2020 | HC Punjab | In favour or Assessee
No arrears of tax demand for any previous assessment years No allegations of non- payment of tax or irregularity in filing of return.
Date: 24 Nov 2017 | HC Madras | In favour or Assessee
Section 241A could be related to erstwhile Section 243 of the Income Tax Act which was deleted w.e.f 1 June 2001
As can be seen from the above, using Riverus Section Analytics, one can find cases that is otherwise not easily visible on other search forums
The Risk of Little Knowledge
The story of the Kupmanduka (A frog in the well) is well known in Indian mythology. Depending on insular knowledge is a risk you may not want to take, especially in the legal world and if the law on an issue is not crystallised. Section analytics coupled with a database that crawls all cases reported and unreported cases reduces your chances of missing information to a minimum.
Get it with Riverus Telescope
Section Analytics coupled with Ready Research, Industry & Party Trackers, Judge Analytics, and DIY Research makes Riverus Telescope the strongest solution for Income Tax in the market today. Try now.