65. Procedure to be adopted by the commission.

(1)     The Chairman may from time to time constitute bench of two members for the disposal of the settlement cases received under section 64.

(2)     A bench of two members shall include each category of members mentioned in clauses (i) and (ii) of sub-section (4) of section 62.
      Provided that Chairman may nominate himself as one of the members of the bench.

(3)     The petition referred to in section 64 shall be placed before the bench to which it has been marked by the Chairman and where the bench, after giving reasonable opportunity of being heard to the petitioner and the representative officer of the Commissioner, is of the opinion that prima facie case for settlement is made out, it shall, subject to provision under sub-section (4),

(i)      order for registration of the case; and

(ii)     stay the proceedings before the assessing authority in the case.

(4)    Where after giving reasonable opportunity of being heard as provided under sub-section (3), if the Commission is of the opinion that a case for settlement is not made out, it shall reject the petition.
      Provided that where petition presented is incomplete, the Commission shall not reject the petition if the petitioner removes defects within the time allowed by the Commission.

(5)     Where a case for settlement has been registered, the Commission shall order to call for the report in the matter from the authority who has issued notice on the basis of which settlement case has been registered and such officer shall submit its report within thirty days of receipt of the direction from the Commission or within such extended time as the Commission may allow.

(6)     Upon receiving the report referred to in sub-section (5) the Commission after giving reasonable opportunity of hearing to both parties and examining the records shall, by an order in writing, determine the amount of tax or penalty or both, as the case may be, which in its opinion the petitioner is in the facts and circumstances of the case, liable to pay as settlement amount.

(7)     For the purpose of sub-section (6) the Commission may call for any records from the petitioner and the Commissioner relating to the case or such other records which may be helpful in the case.

(8)     In a case of difference of opinion between the two members, the Chairman shall constitute a bench of three members including the members who have heard the case previously. Such bench after following the procedure under sub-section (6) and sub-section (7) shall, with majority of opinion, pass the order referred to in sub-section (6).

(9)     Copies of order passed by the Commission under sub-section (6) or sub-section (8), as the case may be, shall be sent by the Commission to the officer who has issued the notice to the petitioner, the petitioner through his assessing authority, the assessing authority of the petitioner and the Commissioner and where the order passed by the Commission relates to payment of amount of tax, the assessing authority shall serve the notice of demand for the amount which is to be paid by the petitioner.

(10)   The Commission 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)   Where the petitioner does not deposit the amount or any part of it mentioned in the settlement order, the same shall become recoverable as arrears of land revenue after expiry of a period of thirty days from the date of service of the order on him and the assessing authority shall recover such amount as if such amount is amount of tax assessed or penalty imposed under any other provisions of this Act.

(12)    Provisions relating to payment of interest in respect of amount of tax shall apply to the amount mentioned in the settlement order in the manner the same are applicable in the case of tax levied under any other provisions of this Act.

(13)    For all purposes under this Act, amount determined under this section shall be treated to be tax levied or amount of penalty imposed, as the case may be, and date of order made by the Commission shall be treated to be the date of order of assessment or penalty as the case may be.

(14)   Where petition of the dealer or other person has been rejected by the Commission, the assessing authority shall proceed to assess the tax or to impose the penalty in case of such dealer or other person in accordance with other provisions of this Act.

(15)   Notwithstanding anything contrary to the provisions of section 28 of this Act, where in any case of assessment a petition under this section has been rejected by the Commission, the assessment or reassessment, as the case may be, may be made by the assessing authority before the expiry of the assessment year succeeding the assessment year in which order passed by the Commission has been received by the assessing authority by due process.

(16)    Where a case of settlement under this section is pending before the Commission, nothing shall preclude the assessing authority from making an assessment or re-assessment pertaining to the assessment years to which settlement case is pending but the assessing authority shall make its order by ignoring the material under the show cause notice before the Commission.

(17)    Where any settlement case relating to evasion of tax is pending for consideration before the Commission, if any additional notice in respect of tax evasion by the same authority or any fresh notice by any other authority is issued on any ground not mentioned in the earlier notice, the petitioner or the Commissioner may request the Commission to consider the material set out in such other notice provided the Commission has not made the settlement order.

(18)    The Chairman, during pendency of a case, may -

(i)      transfer any case from one bench to the other; or

(ii)     re-constitute the bench.

(18-A) Where, during the pendency of any proceeding before it, the Settlement Commission is of the opinion that for the purpose of protecting the interests of the revenue it is necessary so to do, it may order to furnish the security required to be sufficient to cover the revenue loss within the stipulated time in the manner determined by Commission.

(18-B) Any proceeding before the Settlement Commission shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228, and for the purposes of section 196, of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)"

(19)   The Commission shall not entertain a petition regarding a matter which has been subject matter of any petition filed earlier by the dealer or other person.

(20)    No appeal, revision or review shall lie against any proceedings or any order made under this section.