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From time to time CBDT issue departmental instructions, administrative circulars or memorandum for guidance of its officers in the matter of grant of stay with pre-condition for payment of 15%/20% of demand pending appeal. 

The Supreme Court in [2018] 12 ITR-OL 334 (SC) held that the administrative circular issued by CBDT would not operate as a fetter on the Commissioner since he is a quasi-judicial authority, so that it would be open to him to grant deposit orders of a lower amount than 20 per cent., pending appeal.

The Telangana High Court in [2023] 458 ITR 750 (Telangana) held that the Assessing Officer is also not bound or confined by any such Departmental instructions. 

In this case the ITO had followed instructions of the CBDT dated March 21, 1996 to the effect that where an outstanding demand was disputed before the appellate authority, the assessee had to pay 20 per cent. of the disputed demand. The assessee challenged this action by way of a writ.

There had been no application of mind by the AO in his order which is not expected of a quasi judicial authority in any kind of situation. 

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