65. Procedure of enquiry against the Tax Practitioner

(1) Where the Commissioner on the basis of information in his possession is of the opinion that an enrolled Tax Practitioner is prima facie guilty of misconduct in connection with any proceedings, he shall frame definite charges against the Tax Practitioner and shall communicate them in writing to him, together with a statement of the allegations in support of the charges. The enrolled Tax Practitioner shall be required to submit within such time, as may be specified by the Commissioner, a written statement of his defense and also state whether he desires to be heard in person.

(2) The Commissioner shall, unless he proposes to conduct the enquiry himself, appoint an Enquiry Officer not below the rank of a Deputy Commissioner, to conduct the enquiry and shall inform the enrolled Tax Practitioner of the appointment of such an Enquiry Officer.

(3) On receipt of the written statement of defence, or if no such statement is received within the time specified, the Enquiry Officer shall enquire into such of the charges as are not admitted.

(4) The Enquiry Officer shall in the course of the enquiry consider such documentary evidence and take such oral evidence as may be relevant or material in regard to the charges. The enrolled Tax Practitioner shall be entitled to cross-examine witnesses examined in support of the charges and to give evidence in person. If the Enquiry Officer declines to examine any witness on the ground that his evidence is not relevant or material, he shall record his reasons in writing.

(5) On the conclusion of the enquiry, the Enquiry Officer shall prepare a report of the enquiry, recording his findings on each of the charges together with the reasons there for.

(6) The Commissioner shall consider the report of the Enquiry Officer and record his findings on each charge and where he does not agree with the findings of the Enquiry Officer, shall record the reasons for his disagreement.

(7) Where the Commissioner is satisfied on the basis of his findings on the Enquiry Officer’s report that the enrolled Tax Practitioner is guilty of misconduct in connection with any proceeding, he shall pass an order directing that the authorized Tax Practitioner shall be disqualified to represent a person under rule 63 for such period as he may determine and his name shall be removed from the register for that period.

(8) The Commissioner shall, while communicating his order under sub-rule (7), furnish to the enrolled Tax Practitioner, a copy of the report of the Enquiry Officer and a statement of his findings together with the reasons for disagreement, if any, with the findings of the Enquiry Officer.

(9) The procedure prescribed in the aforesaid sub-rules shall mutatis mutandis apply when the Commissioner himself conducts the enquiry without appointing an Enquiry Officer.

(10) Where a change of an Enquiry Officer becomes necessary in the midst of an enquiry, the Commissioner may appoint any other Enquiry Officer and the proceedings shall be continued by the succeeding Enquiry Officer.