—(1) On receipt of a petition of appeal, the secretary shall immediately forward one copy thereof to the Comptroller and shall, as soon as may be thereafter, fix a time and place for the hearing of the appeal and shall give 14 days’ notice thereof both to the appellant and to the Comptroller.
(2) The appellant and the Comptroller shall attend, either in person or by an advocate and solicitor or accountant, at such times and places as may be fixed for the hearing of the appeal.
(3) If it is proved to the satisfaction of the Board that, owing to absence, sickness or other reasonable cause, any person is prevented from so attending, the Board may postpone the hearing of the appeal for such reasonable time as it thinks necessary.
(4) The onus of proving that the assessment is excessive shall be on the appellant.
(5) The Board shall have the following powers:
to summon to attend at the hearing of an appeal any person whom it may consider able to give evidence respecting the appeal, to examine such person as a witness either on oath or otherwise and to require such person to produce such books, papers or documents as the Board may think necessary for the purposes of the appeal;
to allow any person so attending any reasonable expenses necessarily incurred by him in so attending; such expenses shall form part of the costs of the appeal and, pending and subject to any order by the Board as to such costs, shall be paid by the appellant or the Comptroller, as the Board may direct;
all the powers of a District Court with regard to the enforcement of attendance of witnesses, hearing evidence on oath and punishment for contempt;
subject to section 79(12), to admit or reject any evidence adduced, whether oral or documentary and whether admissible or inadmissible under the provisions of any written law for the time being in force relating to the admissibility of evidence.
(6) Every person examined as a witness by or before the Board, whether on oath or otherwise, shall be legally bound to state the truth and to produce such books, papers or documents as the Board may require.
(7) The costs of an appeal shall be in the discretion of the Board and shall either be fixed by the Board or, on the order of the Board, taxed by the Registrar or an Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court in accordance with the scale prescribed by regulations made under section 78(16).
(8) Where the Comptroller is awarded costs of an appeal, he shall be entitled to his full costs of the appeal, including a fee for any counsel appearing on his behalf in the appeal, and the amount of such costs shall be added to the tax charged and be recoverable therewith.
(9) Notwithstanding anything in section 85, the Board may, on the application of the Comptroller made at any time after notice of appeal has been given, require the appellant to furnish security, in such sum and within such time as may be specified, for payment of tax, and if security is not furnished in the sum and within the time specified, the tax assessed by the Comptroller shall become payable and recoverable immediately.
(10) The Board may, after hearing an appeal, confirm, reduce, increase or annul the assessment or make such order thereon as it thinks fit.
(11) Where, under subsection (10), the Board does not reduce or annul the assessment, the Board may, if in its opinion the appeal was vexatious or frivolous, order the appellant to pay, as costs of the Board and in addition to any costs awarded to the Comptroller, a sum not exceeding $250, which sum shall be added to the tax charged and be recoverable therewith.
(12) Every member of the Board, when and so long as he is acting as such, shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of the Penal Code (Cap. 224) and shall enjoy the same judicial immunity as is enjoyed by a District Judge.
(13) All proceedings in appeals to the Board under this Act shall be deemed to be judicial proceedings within the meaning of the Penal Code.
(14) Notice of the amount of tax payable under the assessment as determined by the Board shall be served by the Comptroller either personally or by registered post upon the appellant.