The honourary services provided by me as the Editor of this publication is one of the most satisfying responsibilities that I have taken up which enabled me to share my thoughts and communicate with readers and the members of the AIFTP – It is my conviction that writing articles on various subjects helps young professionals to get recognition amongst the other professionals, tax administration and also from the judiciary –The skill of writing on technical subjects is an invaluable tool in the hands of a professional when he gets elevated to the Bench of a Court or is appointed as member of a Tribunal. It also empowers a spirit of research and patience that can assist him in preparing for academia and in getting published in due course of time–I therefore appeal to young professionals to develop the skill of writing articles as an essential professional skill.
I am associated with the All India Federation of Tax Practitioners (AIFTP) and have been the editor of the journal since 1994. The members of the AIFTP have given me an opportunity to serve this association in various different capacities such as being the chairman of the Representation Committee, the Vice-President, the Dy. President, the National President, the editor-in-chief, the Chairman of ITAT Bar Association co-ordination committee, etc. When I first joined the AIFTP, I was informed that the AIFTP used to publish a Bulletin every quarter, which was thereafter discontinued. My responsibility was to revive the Bulletin so that the professionals across the country can get the benefit of sharing knowledge. My prior experience as the editor of Income Tax Review published by the Chamber of Tax consultants for a decade have helped me revive the Bulletin. Interestingly, I was the editor of both the journal of the Chamber of Income Tax Consultants and also AIFTP for a number of years. I voluntary opted out from the Chamber’s Journal as it has developed in due time many young professionals who are very competent and devoted to the Association. I had full faith that new leaders of the Chamber would do very well. I am very happy to note that the Journal of The Chamber is considered one of the best journals and credit must go to the entire young team under the leadership of Mr. K. Gopal, Advocate. For the AIFTP, with the help of members of the journal committee we have revived the Bulletin and from January 2002, we had started a monthly journal. The journal was being sent only to subscribers. In the year September 2005, it was decided to publish the AIFTP Times every month so that the Office bearers of the AIFTP could communicate the various activities and latest developments in law to all the members of the AIFTP. We must recognize the contribution of Mr. Pradip Kapasi, a senior Chartered Accountant from Mumbai who was instrumental in designing the AIFTP times and Mr. Dinesh Mohan Sinha, an Advocate from Delhi, both of who have
helped us to get the registration from Delhi, which in turn helped us to get postal concession.
There were a number of factors which motivated me to write the editorial or make representations from time to time, however three factors which always motivated me to write can be attributable to the following; firstly when my father in law gave me a nice gift of pen, secondly when I became the President of the ITAT Bar Association, one of the eminent and most respected Sr. Advocate from Mumbai gifted me a pen and wrote in the letter stating that the pen was for my writing through which I could take up various causes of professional interest and thirdly, the then President of the ITAT, Mr. T. V. Rajagopala Rao called me one day and told me, “don’t stop writing irrespective of whether the authorities listen to you or not, do your duty” . I always remember the encouraging words, which have always motivated me to write the editorial with passion and make representations for the greater good of the Institution of the Appellate Tribunal and others.
In my association with various professional organisations, I have found the honourary role of the chief editor of the AIFTP journal as one of the most satisfying services offered by me to the public at large. I have tried to use this privilege to take up issues of general importance. When the AIFTP filed the PIL on voluntary disclosure scheme, the Revenue authorities had annexed the editorial of the AIFTP to oppose the petition. The editorial of AIFTP has been annexed to the PIL filed before the Supreme Court for filling up the vacancies of Vice-Presidents of the ITAT. The Late Justice Mr. S. H. Kapadia, former Chief Justice of India was a regular reader of the AIFTP journal. When he was elevated as the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, he called us and issued a cheque for the subscription to AIFTP Journal with the request that the journal may be sent to his new address. When he was elevated to Supreme Court, if for any reason the journal did not reach hm, his office used to place a telephonic call to the Office of the AIFTP and obtain the issue of the journal. Even after his retirement he had his subscription changed to his new address so that he could read the journal regularly. The Hon’ble Justice Mr. Anil R. Dave, former judge of the Supreme Court, while addressing the national conference at Hyderabad had praised the quarterly digest of case laws published by the AIFTP. The quarterly digest of the case laws as published by the AIFTP involves a research team of more than 15 young professionals and digests all important case laws. Due to constraint on the number of pages, all the cases are not published in the journal, however even the cases that are not included in the said digest are published on the website of www.itatonline.org along with the yearly digest of case laws. The online digest can downloaded in PDF format. All case laws digested since 2003 up to October 2018 are available on the website for the benefit of tax professionals as well as the public at large. According to me, the quarterly digest of case laws in a section-wise format done by the AIFTP team on honourary basis, is one of the greatest service rendered to the tax professionals by the AIFTP.
As I have been the editor-in-chief of this publication since 1994, I have made a request to Dy. President, Mr. Ashok Saraf, Senior Advocate, who will be taking over as the National President with effect from 1-1-2019 to relieve me from this responsibility. The AIFTP has many competent and experienced tax professionals all over the nation, who can now shoulder the responsibility and also bring in innovation. Mr. Harish N. Motiwala, a senior Chartered Accountant of rich experience and a man of impeccable integrity, has consented to take the responsibility as an Editor of the journal from 2019. My best wishes for him. From January 2019 onwards, we will have a new look to the journal and many new features will be added.
I am making an appeal to all the young professionals that they must develop the skill of writing articles. In addition to the benefits already enumerated, the publications by an Advocate has now been laid down as one of the considerations for conferring of the designation as a ‘Senior Advocate’ by the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay. The AIFTP and www.itatonline.org encourages the young professionals to write articles and also compile publications. The AIFTP in association with the ITAT Bar Association Mumbai, is proposing to publish three publications, i.e., Digest of Case Laws 2003-2018, Digest of Supreme Court Cases and a section-wise Digest of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court Case Laws. Tax professionals who desire to be associated with these noble efforts may send their names and e-mail to the office of the AIFTP which can be reached at [email protected]. Any professional who desires to remain updated on law and practice, must read the journal of AIFTP, The Chamber’s Journal as well as Journal of the BCAS. One will find all three journals are complementary to each other and duplication of content does not occur.
At the present, the journal of the AIFTP is sent to the Judges of Apex Court, the Judges of Bombay High Court, the members of the AIFTP who have been elevated as the Judges of various High Courts and the Members of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. I hope the new committee will also follow the same practice.
In the era of technology and digitalisation, the journal shall also need to be digitalised and shall have to evolve to meet the current challenges. The new leadership shall have to give due thought to the challenges that shall evolve.
I must acknowledge that I have immensely enjoyed the responsibility of being the editor of this publication. It was made possible only with the support of the Chairman of journal Committee Mr. Mitesh Kotecha, Mr. Kishor D. Vanjara, associated Editors, assistant Editors, Convenors, members of the Journal Committee, Advisory Board, respective Presidents and also the members of the national executives who have bestowed their confidence in me. Finally, it is the readers who have been a constant source of encouragement for me to write editorials. It is overwhelming when the readers from remote places of the country call and give suggestions and also when sometimes, the Commissioners of Income Tax after taking notice of the editorial, have taken positive steps to implement the suggestions provided in the same.
Let me also acknowledge that for a journal to be finalised, it requires team work and I must acknowledge the contribution of staff of AIFTP, especially Mr. Ravi Patade, who is a bridge between various authors, printing staff and the editorial board. I must also acknowledge that my juniors, associates and staff have continuously rendered me assistance from the very beginning.
My salute to readers and members of the AIFTP.
Happy New Year to all the readers.
Dr. K. Shivaram